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OMMUNION«> 



ERMONS 



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SECOND EDITION, ENLARGED. 




FOURTEEN 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Rev. SAMUEL RUTHERFORD. 



By Rev. ANDREW A. BONAR, D.D. 



^^fX\ 



GLASGOW: 

CHARLES GLASS & CO., 85 MAXWELL STREET. 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

Preface, . . . . . . . . , . 5 

Sermon I. — Revelation xix. 11, 12, 13, 14, . , ,, 7 

Sermon II. — Zechariah xiii. 7, 8, 9, . . . . 27 

Sermon III. — Zechariah xiii. 7, 8, 9, . . . . 46 

Sermon IV. — Luke xiv. 16, 17, &c., .. .. 60 

Sermon V. — Hebrews xii. i, 2, 3, 4, 5, . . . . 89 

Sermon VI. — Isaiah xlix. i, 2, 3, 4, . . . . 115 

Sermon VII. — Zechariah xi. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, .. 144 

Sermon VIII. — John xx. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, .. 175 

Sermon IX. — Song of Solomon v. i, 2, &c., . . . . 200 

Sermon X. — Revelation xxi. 4, 5, 6, 7, . . . . 223 

Seemon XL— Canticles ii. 14, 17, .. .. .. 250 

Address XII.— Christ's Love and Loveliness, .. * 278 

Sermon XIII. — Revelation xiv. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, Sec, .. 291 

Sermon XIV.— Canticles ii. 8-12, . . . . . . 315 




^>^ 



ALL who relish "Samuel Rutherford's Letters" 
will welcome the reprint of this volume, entitled, 
when first printed, " Collection of Valuable Sermons 
Preached by him at Sacramental Occasions, in the 
years 1630, 1634, and 1637." I have added two 
discourses to the collection, one preached in 1630, 
and another in 1633, ^^^ ^^^^ what is commonly 
called a Communion Address, delivered in London. 

All breathe the same spirit as the famous " Letters," 
and are full of racy remark and illustration, bearing on 
scriptural doctrine and Christian experience. 

The Sermons were not published by himself, but 
from the notes of hearers, and so there are some 
awkward sentences and clauses. But still they are 
exceedingly valuable. The first nine sermons were 
originally printed at Glasgow, "from an old manu- 
script." The rest have frequently appeared in various 
forms. A Sermon, which bears the title, " T/ie Cruel 
Watchnian^^ and a fragment, " Chris fs Voice from 
Heave7i'' are not genuine, and so are not included in 
this collection. His only other Sermons are that on 
Luke viii. 22, preached before the House of Commons, 
1644, arid that on Daniel vi. 26, preached before the 
House of Lords, 1645. 

ANDREW A. BONAR. 



Glasgow, 1876. 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 



'nr^HE first issue of two thousand copies has been 
"^ sold off within a year. In the meantime, two 
more of S. Rutherford's Sacramental Sermons have 
been sent to the Editor by friends who had them in 
their possession, and were happy to offer this addition 
to the First Twelve. They are given in this volume. 

ANDREW A. BONAR. 
Glasgow, 1877. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



'-^^©-^^-a^^ 



SERMON I /'" 

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a whit: horse; and he that 
sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteous- 
ness he doth judge and viake war, cr'r. — Revelation xix. ii, 

12, 13, 14. 

CHRIST is here brought in triumphing on horse- 
back, and His armies following Him upon white 
horses. Here Christ is discovered gloriously : i. From 
His triumph, 071 horseback, 2. From His style, Faith- 
ful and True, 3. From His righteousness in govern- 
meiiL 4. From His head, His eyes, His 7iame, His 
habit, His convoy, His power of the sword, and His 
high style, KIJSiG OF KINGS, o^c, which are all 
here set down. 

Before ever John see this triumph of Christ over 
Antichrist, he sees "Heaven opened,'' which shews 
him a new revelation. For, until God open the door, 
and glance t from heaven with new light, we never do 
certamly believe that Christ shall win the battle. If 

♦ This Sermon was preached -at Kirkcudbright m Galloway, 
upon a day of thanksgiving. 
t Shine bright. 



COMMUNION SERMONS 



God's door be closed, and our eyes be darkened, we 
think we see Christ going on foot, persecuted and 
banished, and put to the worse ; then we begin to 
droop and die, and cast away our confidence, as Elias 
did. But we have faith and hope when a window is 
opened in heaven to give us light, but until then, no 
marvei the saints have their faith to seek. David said. 
One day or other, I shall fall by the hand of Saul ; 
and yet he had that promise, that he should live and 
be king. He had then many experiences ; how 
comes this then, that he was in the dark? Here is a 
reason ; God had closed the door. We think no more 
of our trouble, but at first '^ by faith and hope to open 
our King's door, and in to Him, and be stayed with 
flagons, and comforted with apples. No, but God 
will cause His children to come and stand, and pant, 
and cry, and wait upon an open door. And yet they 
are believing though they know it not, they are waiting 
on for faith though they know it not ; and howbeit 
they think they believe not, yet that is believing to one 
of His children. And therefore howbeit our Lord keep 
a good house. His children will get leave to sleep and 
mourn twenty-four hours for bread. God loves a 
hungry child that's aye crying for bread. Nay, I say 
it is more glory to God, to knock a while at a locked 
door, than if the door were open to us night and day. 
We see not that hunger is often better for us than a 
full stomach. In hunger we seek and cry, and it 
pleases God ; but when we are full, we can lay our- 
selves down in the sun and fall asleep. 

''And behold a white horse; a7id he that sat upon 
him zuas called Faithful and Truer — Here we have a 
glorious description of Christ; as also in Song iii. lo; 

* At once. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Col. i. 15, t6, 17 ; Rev. iii. 14. And wherefore is all 
this? I think it is a putting Christ to open market, a 
commending of Him as highly worth the buying. What 
think ye of Him? Well, is He not a lovely one, a 
sweet excellent person ? Saw ye ever the like of Him? 
(I will talk of this and the convoy, and let you see 
both together). AVhere is Christ ? He is triumphing 
upon a white horse, and the saints, His armies at His 
back, following Him on horseback in white. Here 
indeed is a fair company of horsemen, all in white ! 
Here all are in one livery ; Christ is the Captain or 
Colonel, and all His company. His armies with Him. 
Christ and all His Elect are a fair company together, 
and a well-favoured sight. ^' And I looked, and lo, a 
Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an 
hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's 
name wTitten in their foreheads '' (Rev. xiv. i). "Be- 
hold, I and the children whom thou hast given me'' 
(Isa. viii. 18). I think he would say. Am not I and 
my children a pleasant sight ? Judge ye then what a 
sight it will be at the last day, when Christ, having 
ended His court, and the saints have met Him in the 
air, He and they shall go back again to heaven, and 
He shall come in at the door with such majesty, and 
all the first-born, the fair bairn-tene,"^ the whole Elect, 
nations, tongues, languages and people, that none can 
number, at His back, every one of them as fair as the 
sun ! And He shall present them as a gift to the 
Father. "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multi- 
tude, which no man could number, of all nations, and 
kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the 
throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, 
and palms in their hands" (Rev. vii. 9). In very 

Family. 



lo COMMUNION SERMONS, 



deed, then, he is a happy man who is amongst them ; 
for that must be a glad meeting for evermore, when 

)we shall meet with the Bridegroom. This white horse 
that Christ rides on, teaches nothing else than that He 
triumphs in Himself, and His cause and truth. He 
rode through death and hell, and was never thrown off 
the saddle. Nay, upon the cross, "having spoiled 
principalities and pov/ers, He made a show of them 

, openly, triumphing over them in it" (Col. ii. 15). 

1 " I am He that liveth, and was dead ; and, behold, I 
am alive for evermore. Amen ; and have the keys of 

I hell and of death" (Rev. i. t8). Here is Christ rid- 
ing over hell and death upon His triumphant horse, 
and breaking the wards, and taking the keys of the 
prison with Him. And is He not daily posting upon 
this horse ? Has He not ridden like a victorious Lord 
through Germany, and sparkled dirt upon the Beast's 
face, and the false Prophet ? Ye will say, Christ loseth 
a battle sometimes. I grant you, Christ's horse seems 
to snapper* sometimes, and is upon his knees, but he 
doth not fall. Nay, even when the woman is chased, 
by the Dragon, to the wilderness, Christ keeps the 
saddle and bridle ; the devil cannot lay Him on the 
breadth of His back, and take His horse from Him. 
The horse seemed to lose a stroke in a mire, when 
Christ cried, " My God, my God, why hast thou for- 
saken me ?" and when the Kirk was in captivity, at the 
river of Babel, weeping like a poor silly captive. But 
believe me, Christ will win the race, and will get the 
gold, t and we shall get a part of it. Christ in His 
members will get a fall, but He will rise again and win 
the field, say all what ye will. He will yet ride in 
Scotland, and win the race. Ken ye what He said ? 

Stumble. + The prize. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. n 



(2 Cor. iv. 9), "Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast 
down, but not destroyed." 

" Faithfid and Truer— ^o is He called the Faithful 
and True witness, the Amen, who spake the truth 
betwixt God and us, and told us all that ever He heard 
of the Father. And these styles the Lord Jesus gets 
because all the promises of God, made to us, are 
fastene_d^ to Christ, as so many bonds that God has 
given us in "^ the gospel. Says Christ, "He that 
believeth on Me, is passed from death to life; — he 
that loveth Me, shall be loved of My Father ; and we 
will come into him, and make our abode with him ; — 
he that overcometh, shall eat of the tree of life." 
Christ's name is in all the bonds, in all the bargains 
betwixt God and us. Christ is aye one, and He is a 
Cautioner, not only for us but with us ; for God 
challenged Him for our debt, and He, as Faithful and 
True, answered without bout-gates,* and was very 
honest in His word to His Father. He is (let me 
speak so) God's Cautioner to us, taking on Him that 
God shall keep true to us. This is a point not con- 
sidered as it should be by us; for there is not a 
promise made to the true believer, but he may 
challenge Christ for it by law ; though it is the law of 
the new Covenant. But in this good sense, Christ is 
God's debtor, and He is become our debtor. Indeed 
Christ is fastened in the Mediator's chair and offices, 
with strong nails and iron wedges, on both sides : God 
hath bound Him by law. "For the Lord God will 
help me ; therefore shall I not be confounded ; there- 
fore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I 
shall not be ashamed" (Isaiah 1. 7). There Christ says, 
I am bound, but I hope I shall not die in my bonds : 

* Evasion. 



12 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



I shall be true both to God and man : I hope I shall 
have no shame of my handy-works. Then we are far 
in the wrong to Christ, when we believe not. Nay, 
ye say ye dare not yet believe. Ye say ye are aye 
doubting. Ken ye what ye say, when ye say that? 
Ye are even saying, I fear Christ play me a slip : I 
fear Christ be but a false promiser. I say it is wrong 
to believe a falsehood of an honest man; for, thou 
that wilt not believe the promises, thou art saying the 
Lord Jesus Christ is but a double^ dyvour : *^ He that 
believeth not God, hath made Him a liar" (i John 
V. lo). Now when the text says Christ is Faithful and 
True, this is the King s broad seal for your salvation ; 
and aye the truer Christ be, it is the better for you. 
For when in judgment your salvation is questioned, 
and your sins come in f reckoning, whether they be 
satisfied for, or not, ye may see an easy way. Say ye, 
Lord, ask at Christ, the faithful witness, if they be not 
taken away. Christ is one of the sworn men (if we 
may so speak) upon His conscience for clearing of you, 
and He is Faithful and True, and will tell the truth. 
And will Christ get it denied, what scourges, whips, 
and strokes. He suffered for you? Nay, indeed we 
\ have gotten, I think, a strong hold of salvation, when 
I we have gotten it laid over on Christ the Faithful and 
True. It is much that a faithful man is in office, and 
that he keeps all the writs in the country ; and if he 
keeps the register who is faithful, true, and an honest 
witness, then all the writs and charters are safe. The 
writs you and I have for heaven, are all in Christ's 
hand, and ye should aye be looking them over. 

" In righteousness He doth judge and make war^ — 
He rendereth to every man according to his works; 

Deceitful. f Come into account. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



13 



but in battles amongst men, much blood is spilt, false- 
hood, and violence used, while those who may be 
strongest, whether it be right or not, keep the field. 
Nay in very deed, are not kingdoms often ruined by . 
opposite parties, who rent them in pieces amongst 
them? As to Nebuchadnezzar's, the Medes, and 
Persians did. They draw it among them, and the 
thing they get is a fine web of linen, a bit of a king- 
dom with an ill conscience, which never does them 
good. They are like so many men striving about a 
leme ^ vessel ; he draws, and he draws, and the one 
pulls the side from the vessel, and breaks it in pieces : 
So conquerors, when they have subdued a kingdom, 
are like those who get the leme vessel, that seldom 
bides the second heir. Christ makes not war with the 
shedding of innocent blood ; when He takes in a city, 
He plays not foul play as other captains do, where 
often the soldier's right to a country is by the point of 
the sword; for there is no difference betwixt his sword, 
his conscience, and his musket. But it is not so with 
Christ. How then? i. When Christ takes in a city, 
nation or country. He has God's right to it, and His 
Father's promise of it (Psalm ii. 8; Psalm Ixxii. 8). 
** He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from 
the river unto the ends of the earth." 2. When besieged 
men render and give up themselves to Christ, O ! but 
they get good quarters from Him ! They live and are 
not made captives, but kings and priests to God. 
Christ's captives have a king's life of it. 3. Christ 
makes not war in a passion, but sweetly to His people 
in the end, though seemingly bitter at the first. But 
when Christ's enemies who get the worse, are all 
driven to pieces with a rod of iron, they have no 

Leme is clay or earthenware. 



14 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



comfort ; yet He hath done them no wrong, He hath 
made His war in righteousness. Then ye who are 
His enemies shall never be cured nor healed again, 
nor yet by Him pitied; nay, let Christ drive an enemy 
all to flinders, He doth it by laws God bade Him. Who 
will then gather them or mend them ? Oh ! there is 
no balm, no cure for the mending of Christ's wounds 
again. But there is sweetness, and comfort to those 
whom Christ takes in, and sets on to win them to the 
obedience of the gospel. He has good right to you, 
and has God's warrant to have you. Has Christ 
fought a battle with the devil and sin, and hath He 
won you ? Then He hath better right to you than you 
have to the coat on your back. Be glad ye are His 
own ; He wan you with the sweat of His brow. It is 
true, ye deserve not Christ, but indeed He deserves 
you; therefore be glad and humble, for Christ will not 
want His own. Who can rob, spoil, and oppress 
Christ ? I know well He is able to hold His own with 
the best of them. Then fear not that ye be lost, for 
Christ's right cannot be broken, God must give Him 
justice and law, and by law you are His ; for open 
market-right is a good right, and Christ has that 
of you. 

Verse 12. — ^^ His eyes were as aflame offlrer — Fire 
flies out of His eyes, to cause His enemies flee and 
hide themselves. " And the kings of the earth, and 
the great men, and the rich men, and the chief 
captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, 
and every free man, hid themselves in the dens, and in 
the rocks of the mountains ; and said to the mountains 
and rocks, Fall upon us, and hide us from the 
face of the Lamb" (Rev. vi. 15, 16). What is the 
matter they are so afraid, when Christ had not as yet 
laid a finger-end upon them ? What then, saw they in 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



15 



His fiery eyes ? They saw fire in His face : Hide us, 
say they, from the face of Him that sitteth on the 
throne, and from the wTath of the Lamb. "There 
went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of 
His mouth : coals were kindled by it '' (Psalm xviii. 8). 
When there is such a fire and anger in His face, how 
soon, with a frown of His countenance, will He make 
the hearts of His enemies to melt like wax ? And this 
fire of His eyes will soon burn up the chaff and 
stubble. A glance of His fiery eye made Belshazzar's 
knees to shake and strike one against another. Then 
what wisdom is it for men to be sporting with Christ, 
and pulling at His Crown, and playing with His 
Sceptre ? Surely I think them like a child thrusting 
up a stick in the nose of a sleeping lion, and pulling 
his beard ; which is no wise play. Is it good play for 
fools (like bairns) to be sporting and playing with the 
Lion of the tribe of Judah? I think they are now 
scorning Christ, and breaking a jest upon Him; but 
one stroke of His paw, one of Chrisf s roars when He 
is angry, will cause them all to take a back-side. Fire 
shall go before Him, and shall devour and burn all 
His enemies. 

" And 071 His head were many crownsT — I tell thee 
or ever* I go further, O believer, thou need not think 
shame of thy master. Saul went to the devil in the 
night ; but he that seri^eth Christ may not think shame 
of his master ; he may think it an honour to go to 
Him in fair day-light. He is more than a double 
king. For as He is God essential with the Father and 
Holy Spirit, He is an honourable Lord. All the king- 
doms of the earth are His; all the cro^vns in the 
world ; (of Britain, France, Spain, Israel and Judah, 

* Ere ever. 



1 6 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



and tell* until the morn), they are all Christ's as God 
Creator. ^*By Him kings reign and princes decree 
justice '' (Prov. viii. 15). All the kings of the earth 
hold their being of Christ : He is appointed of the 
Father, "King upon the holy hill of Zion'' (Psalm ii. 
6). "Kings shall fall down before Him, all nations 
shall serve Him " (Psal. Ixxii. 11). By His rising from 
the dead, He has gotten a name far above every name; 
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. 
" The Lord at thy right hand, shall strike through 
kings in the day of His wrath" (Psalm ex. 5). Then 
kingdoms and kings that stand by policy, and not on 
Christ and His word, they stand on rotten tree t -legs. 
Now men of policy devise a way, and cast their wit in 
a pair of balances, how to shift the matter. Had they 
been in Daniel's place, they would have devised some 
way to have kept the court and place ; and would have 
said, " Can ye not speak low, and make little noisa 
with your pravers? To save yourselves from the 
lion's den, might ye not keep a close door and 
windows ? What need ye like fools make all the fields 
ado with your prayers?"! — and so have sewed the 
black coat with white thread. But in so doing, Daniel 
would have denied Christ to have "many crowns 
upon His head." And would not policy have said to 
the three Children, " Bow, bend your knee before the 
golden image, and think upon the God of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob ; that so ye may put by an ill hour, 
and the harm of the fiery furnace !" Nay, but such 
counsel as this would have come from hell. Men are 
surest when they stay on Christ's side, and are always 
strongest when they stand with Him. 



* Go on with the enumeration till to-morrow morning. 
t Wooden. X Make the fields full oi noise. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. ly 



" Anf^ He had a na^ne written that no man knew hut 
Himself'^ — O ! what a nameless king is this ! What ? 
Is Christ unbaptized that He wants a name ? Is there 
no man knows His name? **What is His name, and 
what is His son's name, if thou canst tell ?" (Prov. xxx. 
4). " He was taken from prison and from judgment : 
and who shall declare His generation T (Isa. liii. 8). 
Here is a strange thing ! Says the angel, " Thou 
shalt call His name Jesus Christ.'^ Nay, but His name 
is Himself; and His nature, and so He is an infinite 
God. None knows infinite Christ but Himself. Ay, 
surely Christ is an unknown person ; though each one 
has Christ Jesus in their mouth, yet they know not 
what they are saying. 

There are three mysteries in Christ we cannot per- 
fectly ken in this life, nor understand, i. The infinite 
wisdom, mercy, goodness, love, and grace in Christ ; 
which the angels delight to look into and wonder. 
Come near Christ here, and ye will never see the 
bottom of Him. Ye have seen mercy, mickle mercy ; 
there is yet more behind. One has seen much of 
Him, another more ; the angels that are sharp in sight 
have yet seen more ; nay, but there is infinite more 
behind. You will as soon take the sea in the hollow 
of your hand, and bind the wind in your cloak, as ye 
will take Him up. Ye must even stand still here and 
wonder, and cry out, O ! great Jesus, who will or can 
fathom Thee out? 2. The work of Christ's incarna- 
tion. O ! what a depth is in it ! God and dust 
married together ! How blood remains in a personal 
union with God ! How the finite Man-hood subsists 
in His infinite personality ! And how the God-head 
in the Second person, and not in the First or Third, 
assumed our nature, and yet but one God-head in all 
the Three ! How the God-head stood' under th*; 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



Man-hood that was stricken, and the God-head as a 
back-friend*" held Him up, and yet the God-head 
suffered not ! How Jesus ma^i died, and Jesus God 
lived, and remained in death God and man ! And the 
3rd mystery is, What a name Jesus has gotten by His 
rising from the dead, and how the Man-hood is 
advanced. Christ kens all these full well; He can 
read His own name. Ye will speak of learning to 
measure the earth, number the stars, and to learn their 
motion ; that is deep knowledge ; but God help you 
to come hither, and see this unknown name, JESUS, 
and find it out if you can. I trow ye cannot. 

Now ask, Where will ye set Christ ? Where will ye 
get a seat, a throne, a chair to Him ? He cannot be 
set too high ; nay, if there were ten thousand times 
ten thousand heavens, and each to be above another, 
and Christ to be set in the highest of them all ; yet 
were He too low. Alas ! He is too little thought of ! 
He is like the field where the pearl is, that men go 
over, and tread upon the grass that grows above it, 
and yet they ken it not. INTen tramp upon this pearl, 
and yet they know not what they are doing. Fy ! fy ! 
earthly man that thou *art ! Wilt thou put a cow or a 
sheep in thy affection beyond thy salvation ? Fy for 
shame for evermore, that men set their lusts above 
Him ! And O, fy for shame ! that you should set your 
new-come-over lord, Wilful-will, above the old eternal 
Lord, the Ancient of days, Jesus Christ. O ! how is 
Christ put out of His place ? O let us long for glory, 
that place where we will read His name clearly, and 
will see Christ face to face. O strange ! we long not 
to be in heaven, to see this comely glorious one (if I 
may so speak), a darling indeed, and to play God's 

A friend to help. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



19 



bairns in heaven. We will then come and look into 
the Ark; for the curtain will be drawn by,"^ and we 
will see our fill of Christ there. 

^^ A7id He was clothed with a vesture dipt in blood P 
— That is a strange garment ! I leave all expositions, 
and take it to be Christ in His suffering clothes, 
wooing His Kirk; represented thus to John in His 
wooing clothes. He is also represented so in Isa. 
Ixiii. 2, "Wherefore art Thou red in thine apparel, 
and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine 
fat ?'' Christ, in His suffering for us, was wet to the 
skin in His own blood. When He was slaying our 
enemies, He was all bloody to look upon ; even a loch 
of blood, dropping blood. O then come and see if 
He be not a red man ! Had there been but a drop of 
blood here and there upon Him, it had been less ; but 
He was all dyed with His own blood ; for blood drop- 
ped from Him and He wet the gi-ound where He lay ! 
" And His sweat was as it were gi*eat drops of blood 
falling down to the gi'ound " (Luke xxii. 44). So as 
I think for the space of near hand twenty-four hours, 
the blood got not leave to dry on Christ, in His 
suffering for us. For, after Supper, in the garden, He 
swat a sweat of blood that wet the ground He lay on, 
and it would be long ere it dried. Then immediately 
after that, there came a band of men with lanterns and 
torches, and they bound Him and led Him away, and 
He got blue marks anew. Pilate then scourged Him ; 
and blood came upon blood. Then, a crown of thorns 
was put upon His head, to renew His blood again. 
First God bled Him, then man bled Him, and then 
the laying on of the cross upon His holy shoulders, 
would thrust out more blood ; (for His wounds could 

Aside. 



20 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



not be closed then) and then His holy hands and feet 
were nailed to the cross, and He hung bleeding there 
until the ninth hour, which was about three in the 
afternoon of the day after He was taken. Then His 
side was pierced until blood and water came out. So 
as from after supper in one night, until it was near 
night the day following, He was under blood. What 
think ye now of Christ's bloody coat, and bloody skin ? 
Was He not a strong keen warrior ? Fought He not 
well for you % Is He not well worthy of your love ? 
God grant Him good of it, and joy of it ! He fought 
for it, and would not give over the play; and God 
forbid He had given it over, and rendered up the 
cause ; woe then had been to us. Should ye not then 
give your best things to Christ ? for He gave the best 
things He had for you — even His precious blood ; for 
the life is in the blood. He seeks no more but the 
blood and life of your heart-idols and sins ; for, says 
He, ^' I slew Myself for you, and if ye love Me give 
blood for blood.'' 

"And His 7iame is called the Word of C^^."— The 
word is the birth of a man's mind, and an image of 
what is conceived in the understanding; and it re- 
presents to the hearers what is in the mind. Now, 
because man is a finite creature, the birth of his mind 
is finite also. As the image of a man in a glass 
represents the likeness of himself; so his words are the 
image of his soul, representing what is in him. Christ 
is the infinite and eternal Word of the invisible God, 
not only like Him, but God Himself, diff'ering only in 
manner of subsisting from God, " Who is the image of 
the invisible God" (Col. i. 15), ''being in the form of 
God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God " 
(Phil. ii. 6). ''He that hath seen Christ, hath seen 
the Father also. No man hath seen the Father at anv 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 2 1 



time, save the Son who is in the bosom of the Father, 
and He to whom He will reveal Him : All things that 
I have heard of My Father, I have made known unto 
you " (John xv. 15). Christ is God's tongue (to speak 
so) to us, betwixt us and our King. He is pri\y to all 
the Father's secrets ; then, would you have news from 
that great Court, and want to know the secrets of God, 
and how the work of your salvation thrives ? Christ 
only knows His Father's mind ; make your acquain- 
tance with Christ, and be oft with Him, and ask Him 
questions often times. He keeps the book where the 
names of the first-born are recorded ; desire Him to 
let you read your name there. Ye will advise with 
la^vyers, about your lands and inheritances ; Christ is 
our advocate, and has our law-book, to tell us what a 
holding we have, what duty we owe to our Lord the 
King ; what a fair rent and possession we have. Our 
mheritance is made sure unto us. Now, because 
Christ is the only one in all the world likest God, and 
being His substantial image, yea, being very God, if 
ye would send your commendations, your love, and 
sendees to your heavenly Father, desire Christ to do 
it, and He will carry them. If ye send a kiss to God 
by Christ, He will carry it to His Father and your 
Father. 

^^ And the armies which were in heaven^ followed hint 
upon white horsesJ'' — This is not to be understood 
simply of the church triumphant in heaven; but also 
of the heavenly army of the church militant on earth; 
for the church on earth is burgess of another country. 
Heaven is her home ; her members are but merchants 
hereaway^ seeking the pearl of great price, but Christ 
has given them their burgess tickets, and made them 

Down here. 



22 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



free men. They are sworn to be true to the burgh, 
and to hold with the heavenly company, to watch and 
ward with the saints, or " heavenly armies " — called so 
because they smell of heaven, and their portion is 
there. "Our conversation is of heaven" (Phil. iii. 
20). Ye shall ken a man by the smell of his breath: 
if he savour of the earth, it says, that he is none of 
the spiritual or heavenly army. Ye might ken by 
Judas' breath (who said, of the box of spikenard, 
might not this have been sold for so much) that he 
was a burgess of the black pit. But see here, they 
are all on horseback, and in their Master Christ's 
livery, white and holy; they bear the King's arms 
upon them. " I have compared thee, O my love, to 
a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots " (Song i. 9). 
See, then, that the saints are on horseback with Christ; 
He does not ride and His people walk, but will have 
His own mounted on horseback with Him. He is 
even then triumphing with us over all our enemies. 
" Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, 
through Him that loved us " (Rom. viii. 37). He will 
get the victory over all His and His people's enemies; 
and He will enable His people to get the victory at 
last. "These are they w^iich came out of great 
tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made 
them white in the blood of the Lamb " (Rev. vii. 14). 
See, then, all the saints are on horseback, galloping 
and posting to heaven after Christ; overcoming all 
temptations, triumphing over the world, sin, and death. 
Then, ye that are but Christ's foot-runners, take 
heed to this; you that have your souls licking the 
dust of the earth, and have aye a smell of clay, who 
mind earthly things. By the smell of their breath ye 
will ken what country they are of; they are upon their 
feet with it, wading to their knees, and on their elbows, 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 23 



among the filthy clay-ground of covetousness. Ride 
up, and ride down, and ride else where * ye will, ye 
will not get Christ overtaken. Ay, ye will get some 
like the young man in the Gospel, who would have 
galloped after Christ, but when Christ bade him go 
sell all he had, that threw him off the saddle, and laid 
him on the breadth of his back; and so he fell behind, 
and never overtook Christ again, so far as we hear of 
The devil and the world make some men say, that 
yon Captain, Christ, rides so hard and fast, that they 
cannot keep up with Him, and so lose Him. Demas 
posted awhile along with Paul after Christ and the 
Gospel, yet at last his horse stumbled, and he fell off, 
and lost his horse, and company, and altogether. 
Judas, he posted awhile, but the devil shot a musket ball 
at him, even thirty pieces of silver, and so he gave it 
over, and there he lay. Men ken not that the devil and 
the world are lying betwixt them and heaven, stealing 
a shot at Christ's horsemen. I assure you the devil 
seeks no better, than that ye will light and take a bait,t 
a drink of his strong wine, worldly lusts, and fleshly 
pleasures, that so your Master on the white horse 
may be far before you. A little of lawful pleasure is 
best ! Then light not, for the devil will have you lose 
sight of your Captain; and if ye lose your Master, 
Christ and fall behind Him, it will stand hard with 
you. Therefore when ye lose Him, seek and be diligent 
to find Him out again. Seek the right way, follow the 
horse's foot-steps, the print of Christ's foot-steps, in 
holiness, faith, patience, and hope, which may be seen 
all the way betwixt this and heaven. Ask Him out as 
the church does; " Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?'' 
(Song iii. 3). When the church said, Draw me, she 

Wherever. t Refreshment. 



24 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



was three or four miles behind. When David said, 
*^ O Lord, how long?" (Psalm vi. 3), he had almost lost 
sight of his Captain. Nay, when Christ is a mile or 
two before, so that there is a little hill betwixt Him 
and us, with watery eyes and panting heart, look a 
long look over the mountain, and cry. Lord Jesus, 
ride at leisure, tarry and take a poor wearied traveller 
with Thee ! Lord, tarry, or else Thou wilt lose a foot- 
man. Job said, ^^Lord, Thou takest me for an enemy.'* 
He brake a girth there. Christ has many a sore tired 
horse to take out of the mire. 

In this triumphing host, many of Christ's soldiers 
will be very near off their horses, and hanging by the 
houghs.'^ **I said in my haste, All men are liars" 
(Psalm cxvi. 11). Here David was hanging upon the 
saddle by the houghs. Peter got a fall off his horse, 
and he fell into a swoon, and lost his horse when he 
denied his Master. Yea, God will have the horse 
sometimes to stumble, and will have His servants laid 
on the breadth of their backs, and all their clothes 
spoiled, and a leg or an arm broken; because they, 
like young riders, are full of self-importance, and will 
not follow their Captain, and care not about keeping 
a good bridle-hand. As David will ride on a hanging 
and steep hill of murder and adultery ; Lot upon incest 
and drunkenness; and or ever they be aware, the 
devil trips up their heels to the sun, and gives them 
such a fall, that they be on their knees with it, and 
shall lose their horse, and so be obliged to creep up 
the hill on their hands and feet. " Then see that ye 
walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeem- 
ing the time, because the days are evil" (Eph. v. 15, 
16). "Work out your salvation with fear and trem- 

* Hamstrings. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



25 



bling." I think He speaks by this text, as if He would 
say, Be not rash; take heed to your ways; keep a 
good bridle-hand; hold off the hills, and hanging 
precipices of ice ; for if ye give the devil and your lusts 
the horse bridle to lead, they will sink you to the girths 
in a black marsh, near to the mouth of hell, and leave 
you there, and laugh at you when they have done. 
The devil is aye playing such sports and tricks as 
these; they are but feckless* sportG; and I tell you, 
do your best, ye will get a broken brow ere ye win to 
heaven. But come weeping to Jesus. I ken the saints 
fall on Christ's floor ; when they break their faces, He 
is at their elbow, to blow upon the wound, and take 
them up agam. We, like fools, will ride at full career, 
and cross the long sands ; and we grow too jolly and 
proud of our victory. I said I shall never be moved, 
says David ; I shall die in my nest, says Job ; but God 
breaks the bridle, and the horse loses his feet, or runs 
from him on a hard causeway, and there lies synef a 
stout man ! Be not high minded, be not too wanton, 
nor too secure, after ye have won a race at The Com- 
munion, and have gotten a hold of Christ ; ye know 
not how soon ye may get a fall, or your mittens laid 
up % (as we commonly say), and then your boasting 
will be laid. Ye will say. Ye bid us rejoice in the 
Lord. I bid you rejoice ; but see that it be humble 
rejoicing, sober joy, with fear and holy care. 

" Clothed mfine linen, white and clean^ — Whiteness 
being the most perfect colour, is a token of innocence, 
and blackness is a mark of guilt. Here the saints are 
in their Master's livery, clean and holy : " Be ye holy 
as He is Holy." Be ye harmless as He is, who, when 
He was reviled, reviled not again. Let the white 



Profitless, t Thereafter. % You not able to go abroad. 



26 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



clothes of your profession be also adorned by the 
innocency of your lives. Let your good works shine 
before men, that your heavenly Father may be glorified. 
Thus manifest your thankfulness after The Communion. 
Christ's sheep have His mark upon them, and are like 
Himself in holiness. Let them see Christ's stamp and 
coat of arms upon you : your King's arms, in all your 
actions. Faith, and Truth. What is it that makes men 
profess that they are riding to heaven after Christ, but 
to deceive the world : they are the devil's black armies, 
and are wearing the devil's double-black arms, False- 
hood and Vanity. They choose to live in sin, pride, 
and vanity of apparel, which is not booked like the 
white livery or linen of the saints, but rather like the 
black livery of the prince of the bottomless pit. May 
the Lord direct your hearts unto the love of God, and 
to a patient waiting for Christ, and to Him be praise. 
Amen. 




SERMON 11/' 

Awake, O sword, agaifist my shepherd, and a^amst the man that 
is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts : smite the shepherd, and 
the sheep shall be scattered ; and I will turn mine hand upon 
the little ones, &c. — Zechariah xiii. 7, 8, 9. 

AS the Eunuch, when reading Isaiah liii. asked the 
question, " Ot whom speaketh the prophet this? 
of himself, or of some other man?" so may we of the 
sufferings of Christ. Christ^s sufferings were so admir- 
able that they made Him a world's wonder ! As if a 
man would say. What a sight do I see? The like 
whereof I never saw ! I see the Son of God, the Lord 
of Life, all mangled in His hands and feet. 

There are three grounds of wonder in our Lord's 
sufferings, i. Look at His Person. 2. Compare Him 
with others. 3. Look at the rare way of clearing mercy 
and justice. 

I. Look on His Person, and wonder that the Way 
should be weary; Strength, faint; Life, die; Bread, 
hungry; and Water, thirsty. Is not this a rare matter? 
A wonder ! that the God-head should be knit in a per- 
sonal union with the Man of Sorrows ! For God with 
His Spirit to bear up a man under sorrow, is nothing, 
compared with giving His personal subsistetice to stand 
connected with wounds, blood,'" curse, and shame! 
For the God-head to breathe, live in, and dwell as one 

* Preached at Anwoth, in Galloway, iii the year 1630. 



2 8 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



with the person shamed, cursed, hanging on the cross, 
dead, and buried, is truly wonderful 1 Here God is 
made a curse, God is made a shame; and the per- 
sonality of the God-head still abiding with the shame 
and the curse, howbeit neither cursed nor ashamed. 

2. Compare Him with others. It was nothing to 
see Moses subjected to scorning; Zechariah slain, 
between the porch and the altar ; and many of the 
ancient Fathers rent in pieces : but for Christ, for God, 
to be so handled is strange ! No wonder though all 
the world wonder and cry, O God, what wonders do 
we see ! The hand that spanned the heavens, pierced 
with nails ! The feet of Him that treadeth on the 
stars, nailed to a tree ! 

3. What man or angel could have dreamed of this 
rare work, and strange way to heaven, that justice 
would have God-man to suffer ? This was a voluntary 
work, for God to come down and save men ; which 
He needed not to do by any necessity of nature. 
God's own free will was above, beyond, and before 
this set and decreed law of justice. Out of His free 
good will. He breathes out goodness, love, mercy, and 
tender compassion. What a mystery? The infinite 
God to suffer for miserable men ! 

Use, Then he that counteth little of sin, counteth 
little of God. The wilful sinner, who takes sin into 
his bosom, is cruel to his Maker. If Christ be your 
husband, and you His wife ; then sin slew your hus- 
band. Will the wife love the knife that cutted her 
husband's throat ? Ye will say, The wife loveth not 
the husband, if she take the man into her bosom who 
pursued her husband to the death, and helped to 
execute him* on the gallows. Should the redeemed of 
the Lord then love their lusts, that pursued Christ to 
the death, and nailed Him to the cross? Then 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



29 



beware, by going on in sin, of saying Amen to the 
shedding of Christ's blood. 

Love, and learn to look at, Christ in His suffering 
for His people. O the love of God, it passeth all 
knowledge! "For if, when we were enemies, we were 
reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much 
more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life'* 
(Romans v. 10). Christ laid the ground-stone, and 
foundation of His love very deep ; even down upon 
the earth, the grave, shame, the curse, hell, and the 
wrath of God. Yea, in His love. He maketh all His 
elect children kings and princes to God, and they 
shall reign with Him for ever and ever. O ! then 
what great fools are they who will not be kings and 
princes ! 

But alas ! that the world is aye picking quarrels 
with Christ and His followers. " Let us break their bands 
asunder, and cast away their cords from us" (Psalm ii. 3). 
When Christ came to the nation of the Jews, they 
were offended at Him. I assure you he is far for^vard 
who finds no fault with God ; who thinks Christ so 
fair and lovely, that there is no spot in Him, and loves 
Christ, even when He seems to be angry at him. 

If it be asked, Should Christ have offered mercy to 
the Jews ? Is it not against justice, that mercy should 
be offered to those who trample mercy under foot ? 

Ans, I. If you consider Christ's nature and offices, 
ye will see that He behoved to give an offer of mercy 
to those who spat in His face. Having man's nature 
in Him, He behoved to put on bowels of mercy. 
God's iafinite mercy upon Christ's tender heart, 
bound Him that He could not go away and leave 
His friend's house ; but constrained Him to stay still, 
and take all the strokes that His friends gave Him. 
A man has compassion on his first-born ; a woman on 



30 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



the fruit of her womb; a husband on his wife; a 
kinsman on his friend; and a faithful king on his 
people : but Christ is infinite (even mercy running 
over the banks) in His nature. Christ said to Justice, 
" Stay till I woo T^y bride :" for justice (as manifested 
to us) is a voluntary decree of God to punish sinners; 
and justice would have been at us to slay us. 
Absalom sought to slay David his father, but David 
gave command to the captains and officers to deal 
gently with the young man Absalom. Be not sore 
upon my child. So mercy comes to sinners through 
Christ. 

2. Look to Christ's office, as dying Christ. Our 
Lord would never say amen to our forwardness, nor 
run away and leave us, nor yet would He say amen 
to the curse of the law. The law cried, Death upon 
all sinners ; Christ, as J\Iediator (to speak so) said, 
God forbid. My Father ! I would rather give My 
heart's blood ere it were so. How went the matter 
then ? Thus ; aye the unkinder the world was to 
Christ, He was aye the kinder to it; they abused Him, 
He kissed and embraced them in His arms. Christ, 
as Mediator, came and bowed down to go into the 
lion's^ of day that He had borrowed from the Jews 
(to speak so), but they met Him in the door, fell upon 
Him and abused Him, and bruised both His hands 
and His feet. 

3. (Which may be sweetest of all). Upon what 
terms did Christ mak^-llie Imrgain with His Father ? 
He got commandment to die, but not continually. 
He said, Content, I will die, and be warm-hearted to 
them ; I shall take a lift of them in My two arms, to 
pull them out of hell, and from all their miserable 
toil. Our Lord says. Let them be as ill as devils to 
Me, I will be as good as God to them. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



31 



Use, Then it reproves those who seek a reason 
why Christ died for them. O, say they, I am a hard- 
hearted body, so rebellious that Christ would never 
die for me ! Well, then, do ye think that Christ died 
for hire? Would you make Christ a Popish God, who 
died for sinners only for as good again. Christ, ere 
He came out of heaven, knew the worst of it, and 
said, Let My friends slay Me, I will die in love for 
them. Look, then, sour, unthankful world, what a 
hold Christ took ot your souls, and held them fast, 
and would not let them go. So it is a shame to us 
not to clasp to Him. This mercy of the Mediator 
has shamed us all out at the door ; we are ashamed 
for ever more, if we do not take Christ who would 
so fain take us. Come to yourselves, then, and fight 
no longer against Him. Say, Woe's me, that my 
Lord kissed me, but I abused Him ! If this move not 
our heart, and melt it with love to Christ, God shall 
break it all to pieces, and it never shall be healed 
again. O, my friends, Christ never got a good turn 
of His friends. ^^ He came unto His own, and His 
own received Him not'' (John i. 11). The house of 
Israel crucified Him ; the daughters of Jerusalem 
stirred Him up before He pleased. The rulers and 
teachers of the kirk, and professors are the traitors, 
who sell Christ, even the men who pretend friendship 
with Him. It is a shame to beguile and be false to 
any friend, far less should we be false to Christ. Art 
thou a professor and in the kirk ? Be true to Christ, 
and stand to His cause. 

'' Awake^ O szcord, a^atJist My shepherd ^ — As if 
the sword had ears, and were asleep, the Lord 
speaks to it. " If I bring a sword upon a land, 
and say. Sword, go through the land, to cut off from 
it man and beast" (Ezek. xiv. 17). He is speaking 



32 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



to the sword as if it were a messenger who had 
ears, whom He sends on an errand. We should be 
afraid to anger the Lord who hath so many on His 
side. Providence and justice have many friends, and 
mercy has many servants. If God say. Sword, go 
to Germany, go through Scotland, it dare not sit 
His call '!^ God's providence has a secret impulse upon 
all the creatures. If God say. Arise, pestilence, and 
set on them; Awake, devils; Come hither, graven 
images and set on Scotland; Come hither, whore of 
Rome, smite Scotland, and make it a den of dragons, 
they must obey. He bids the sword awake against 
His Son, and Shepherd, Christ, because, by the 
determinate counsel of God, He was to be slain. 

And there be two sweet reasons why He awaketh the 
sword against Christ, i. Because the sword behoved to 
sleep a while, till Christ's twelve hours of the day was 
over. Says He, Luke xiii. 32, " I must work to-day and 
to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.'' So 
long as Christ hath the world to teach with the gospel, 
and any seed to sow, any soul to convert, as long the 
sword slept; for His Father gave Him a time to 
suitt His wife, and O! but our Lord bestirred His 
time, and hastened before the sword awaked against 
Him. 2. The sword behoved to sleep till the term- 
day came; and then the sword awaked, for God 
would not want payment an hour beyond the time, 
and that was a black and dreary hour to Christ. He 
got not two summons, with continuation of days, but 
He behoved to keep the first day, and answer the 
first summons. Therefore, when He was to answer 
peremptorily to the justice of God, and (as it were) an 
hour of awakening to the sword (for God would not let 

* Fail to do His bidding. t To woo. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. ^ 33 



the diet pass the day, nor renew Christ's bond), He 
said, " Now is My soul troubled ; and what shall I 
say? Father, save Me from this hour" (John xii. 27). 
So Christ desired it not ; but for the love He had to 
us He was glad of the day, and willing to pay the debt, 
and had the sum ready ; ^* For their sakes T sanctify 
Myself" (Johnxvii. 19). He made His soul and body 
ready for the fire, to be burnt as a sacrifice for man 
upon the altar of the cross. And because He was 
minded not to play the dy\'Our,* He was willing, with 
all His heart, to suffer ; therefore, says He, " Arise, 
let us go hence" (John xiv. 31). He went to that 
place where He knew they would take Him, and 
willingly went to prison for the debt. He was like an 
honest man who resolved to pay His debt, and 
would fain have the money off His hand, and receive 
a discharge. O ! fain would Christ have had a \vritten 
discharge in His hands for Himself, His heirs and 
assigns.! 

Hence, we are taught to use our time well, our 
twelve hours of time here, as Christ did. At the hour 
of death, at thcr hour of call. He had nothing to 
do ; so let us be ready against our hour, that so 
death and judgment awake us not. It is an unmeet 
time to sleep then, while the judge is before the 
door ; and when we hear the voice of the Lord's 
feet coming in \\Tath against the land, it is not time 
for us to lay down our head, and say, "Soul, take 
thine ease." And yet it is often seen, when God is 
crying to the sword to awake against a land, it is 
midnight with men therein; then they are sleeping; 
and it is the fearfulest death of all to die in a sleep, 
and unprepared ; to be slain in that state and leap 

* Bankrupt, f Assignees : persons to whom property is destined. 



34 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



into eternity in a night dream, when we know not 
where we are going. 

'^ Awake, Sword, smites — Spare that man by no 
means ; Justice, Spare Him not ; Curse of the law, 
Spare Him not ; Men and devils, Take your will of 
Him. To hear God say this of Christ was a world's 
wonder ! O sun, hide thyself, hide thy face ! 
b heavens, put on a mask of darkness ! O angels, 
go down and dry the sweat off Him ! O earth, 
tremble 1 O graves, open ! O rocks, rent ! Fools 
mock and laugh at sin, but Christ wept when He 
satisfied for it. 

, " Awake against viy fcTlo7ur — Christ who is equal 
With the Father, " the image of the invisible God, the 
first-born of every creature" (Col. i. 15), the ^' exact 
character "* of His person ; is the man who sfeftds' 
^th God ever ready to do His work, and to run for 
us where ever the Lord bids Him. Hence learn, that 
Christ in nature is even the brightness of God's 
glory, "the express image of His person" (Heb. i. 3). 
We see the printing iron leaves behind it every way, 
the print of itself; so the Lord from eternity brought 
forth another like Himself, the Second Person of the 
Trinity, stamped with that same glorious God-head, 
with all the essential properties that are in the 
Father. As the Father has hfe, so the Son has life 
in Himself As all men honour the Father, so should 
they honour the Son. The brightness of God's glory 
is a great word, a rare and great mystery. The 
glancing" brightness coming from the sun, is not 
another sun; nor is the glancing brightness of a 
precious stone, another stone. And so it is here with 
Him. Because, all that is in God is God, and there 

*The Greek word for ^^ Express i7nage.^\ t Bright-shining. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



35 



is nothing in Him but what is in His nature ; therefore 
the riches and beams of infinite glory, and that substan- 
tial glancing glory, and beauty in God, is God, and the 
very nature of God, and the same God with the Father. 
Only this substantial glancing of God's glory, has 
subsistence in itself, to make it a person distinct from 
the Father ; and, therefore, Christ is God, and 
co-equal with God in all things, carrying the substan- 
tial stamp and character of the God-head. Now, this 
glorious image, being the Lord's delight from all 
eternity. He would not enjoy His alone, '^' but put a 
copy of the God-head, as it were in print, on the flesh 
and blood of man, when The Word was made flesh, 
that we might take this fellow and companion of God, 
to be our fellow and companion. See, then, the 
dignity of the elect in Christ, that God and they are 
made one ! are made one in such a manner that He 
has (so to speak) parted His own Son betwixt Himself 
*.nd them. Take Him, take Him, then, with God's 
blessing. God gave you Him with good will, take ye 
Him with heart and good will then. 

''Smite the Shepherd'''— ^m\\.^ Christ and the 
apostles shall be offended, run away and leave Him. 
Here is a command to the sword to set on Christ 
God's Fellow and the chief Shepherd. Even Christ 
is arraigned before the judge, for the sins of men. 
Wherefore should this have been? We would have 
been stricken and condemned for ever, had not the 
Lord stricken and condemned His own Son. Here 
we have God taking the sacrifice of His Son, and 
letting us go. He knew that His Son would bear the 
strokes best. What reason had Christ to be stricken ? 
He came but under the debt ; mi.<2:ht He not have 

* Himself soli! nrv. 



36 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



gone free'? No, no, as He came under the debt, He 
behoved to pay. Justice would not let Him away; 
but smote Him so, that indeed it struck the Lord's 
soul from His body. You that live in sin, are ye not 
afraid when the God of glory got such a stroke ? We 
make but sport of it, but God's sword goes through 
flesh and bones, soul and body. Beware of a stroke 
of it out of Justice's hand ; for if ye get it ye will nev^er 
do well again : ye will be like Moab, a broken and 
lame pot,"^ and shall curse the day wherein ye were 
born (Jer. xx. 15). " He hath hedged me about, that 
I cannot get out ; He hath made my chain heavy 
(Lam. iii. 7). 

''And the sheep shall be scattered ^ — That is, The 
disciples shall flee away for fear, and shall start and 
fall at Christ's sufferings ; because they were thinking 
He should be an earthly king, and make them great 
men in the world. But they were all mistaken : for 
He came to get strokes, and not an earthly kingdom. 

Doct. Observe here : The faith of the apostles, 
when Christ was taken, gets a crack ; the back of it is 
near broken, and they are at the point of giving up 
with Christ, taking Him not to be the Redeemer of 
the children of Israel. O, but God's children, in their 
way to heaven, get many sore backsets ! t Many sore 
trials have the people of God to encounter with. 
They are many times at that of it, that they know not 
what to do. What might the disciples now think, but 
Christ and they were separated never to meet again ? 
'' Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for 
thine enemy?" (Job xiii. 24). Christ, the true heir, 
was put to this. What shall I do? '' Now is," says 

* Probably, "a broken hnie pot^''"' i.e.^ earthen vessel, 
t Thrusti back. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 37 



He, ^*My soul troubled, and what shall I say?" How- 
belt He never doubted, though He was put to tears and 
strong cries. I think the saints, in their way to 
heaven, are like rash children, who get many a fall, 
and break their face twice a day. God will give them 
such a backset and fall under temptations, that their 
eyes will reel again, their hands grow weak, and their 
hearts faint ; so that there is but as a hair-breadth, 
betwixt them and their giving up with God. Faith, 
as it were, goes through fire and water to heaven : or 
like a soldier going through an enemy's camp, this one 
runs at him with a spear, another discharges a musket 
at him, one runs him through the arm or thigh, with a 
sword ; another has well nigh put him oft' his horse, 
and he is very near surrendering ; yet he spurs through, 
and at last gets away with his life. So the Christian 
warrior, however many hazards he may meet with, 
shall come off victorious at last. This may be a com- 
fort for all under temptations and down-castings for 
their grievous sins. Ye sometimes cry, *'No, but God 
loves me not ; I am often doubting if the dead rise, if 
there be a heaven," (Jtc. These are backsets, but take 
ye no fear, give not over, all shall be well. Faith 
must not be like foolish people, to seek law-burrows* 
of temptations. True faith is an herb that grows best 
in winter weather. 

When the disciples in the ill day forsake Christ, ye 
need not marvel to see many blown away with tempta- 
tions. So long as Christ has fair weather, and feeds 
the multitudes with loaves, they seek Him and would 
make Him their king (John vi. 15). But when the 
court changes, and it grows black in the west, and 
there comes winter weather; Oh ! then. What do 

A pledge that no injury shall be done. 



38 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



they ? They all turn back and flee. Ay, Christ in a 
day of trial is like (if we may use the comparison) an 
old waste dove-house ; the doves flee away, and there 
is nothing there but old nests. It is just so when 
Christ has ought to do : many of His friends prove 
weak, and get a backset ; and many fall and deny Him ; 
"Will ye also go away?" said He to the Twelve. 
Many marry Christ, as some men do rich women, who 
marry their riches, but not themselves; and when 
they have gotten their riches, their afl'ections are else- 
where, and the women are lightly esteemed. So has 
it often been. When Christ's cause came in question, 
the rulers of this land suffered Christ and His cause 
to be wronged, and many of them took a back-side : 
but He has been a moth in many of their purses, and 
they are worm-eaten for it. When our Lord's Temple 
was measured, they suffered lowns and knaves to take 
acres of His land from Him, and so Christ got not all 
His bounds : and they see but little who see not, that 
for this, or since that time, God has taken broad lands 
from them, and even now is doing it : for they had 
put lordships in their purses. 

" A7id I will turii Mine ha?id upon the Utile ones^ — 
Christ kept the faith of the little ones, when they 
were in Satan's sieve, and prayed to the Father that 
their faith should not fail. The turning of Christ's 
hand upon them, was much as ^' Though He had given 
them a back-stroke, yet He would lend them a lift for 
it again." He had scattered, but He would gather 
them again ; forsaken them, but He would return to 
them again. I think I recollect a story of one who 
had gone to see a dear friend, whom he found fighting 
with an enemy, and like to be overcome ; upon which 
he fell to and helped him, and took the enemy off his 
hand. Christ saw the disciples like to be overcome 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



39 



and mastered with the temptation. He saw that if 
He helped not, they would be shot through ; therefore 
He came in as a third man and heli:)ed them. 
Whence ye may see the privilege of the children of 
God, under a trouble or heavy sin ; God helps them ; 
so they fight not alone. If ye be God's, in all your 
fights Christ is a third man with you. If ye be like to 
be overcome with defection, if ye be His, He will bestow 
three things on you, which none get but the sons. 

I. Suppose that God would seem to deny them, yet 
they will not deny Him. I think they are like noble 
minded heirs ; though their lands are under thousands 
of debt, yet they will never sell them without rever- 
sion; for then they would lose all.* If they quit the 
eye-look to the estate, they lose the place also. So it 
is with God's children under fear for sins ; when, to 
their apprehension, their part of Christ is mortgaged, 
and under thousands, yet they dare not resign their 
part of Him. I would have you doing this. God's 
children are under many sins; but I pray you sell not 
your right of Christ ; for if ye do, the devil is at your 
hand, to take instruments that you have quit Christ. 
But let your sins be ever so many ; still stick by this, 
that you are a son of God, and so Christ will redeem 
the inheritance, and make all free. David said he was 
cast off, yet still prayed as if he thought not so : Psalm 
xxxi. 2 2, "I said in my haste, I am cut off from 
before Thine eyes; nevertheless Thou heardest the 
voice of my supplications, when I cried unto Thee." 
There we may see he thought he was cast off, yet he 
prays and cries, and could not be at ease, and that 
tells us that he had not subscribed a resignation to 
his Lord. 

* Hope of. 



40 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



2. God gives to His scattered little ones a sanctified 
nature. In opposition to sin, the renewed part cries 
aye out as a friend to Christ, ^' I vote not for that, that's 
against Christ, that's against me; I will never say 
amen to that. I take instruments in God's name, I 
hate that, and all other sins." Christ has an advocate 
in thy soul to plead for Him. 

3. There is this in God's children, after they seem 
to have taken their leave of Christ, they look eagerly 
after Him. And it is a look over their shoulders, with 
a " Woe's me ! O to be back at Him again !" So the 
disciples, after they had fled, came the third day to 
the grave to seek their Lord again. Then learn, under 
temptations, to keep Christ on your side, and not to 
take on the Avork your alone,* lest when you are 
WTestling against temptations, ye be left to play the 
coward. But steal out of the gripes of sin and Satan, 
and yoke t them and Christ together, and He will give 
them their fill of it ; and if He be like to be overcome, 
let him take that in his own hand. He who would 
fain have amends of his enemies, if he be a man great 
with the king, uses means to get a plea raised betwixt 
them and the king, and then the king takes them off 
his hand. 

" Two parts shall he cut off a7id die; but the third 
part shall he left thei'eiji'' — For the slaying of Christ, 
and the contempt of the gospel, the land shall be 
divided. Learn, Scotland (for I may not stay to 
amplify the docrine), learn to make much use of 
Christ. Are ye not more obliged to God than His 
beloved people the Jews were, the Lord's first bride, 
the wife of His youth ? The sorest stroke that ever a 
land gets, is a stroke for rejecting Christ and the 

Without help. + Join. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 41 



gospel. The third part shall be left therein. Two 
parts are cut off. Take them out of my sight. Jer. 1 
XV. 2, " Such as are for death, to death ; and such 
as are for the sword, to the sword ; and such as are 
for the famine, to the famine ; and such as are for the 
captivity, to the captivity." Chap. ix. 13, 14, 15, 
** Because they have forsaken my law, and walked 
after the imagination of their own heart, and after 
Baalim, — Behold, I will feed them, even this people, 
with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink." 
For oppression, see Amos viii. 7. And for vanity, see 
Isaiah iii. 

When the workers of iniquity are taken out of this 
life, it is said to be a cutting off; but it is not said so 
of the godly. Isaiah Ivii. i, " Merciful men are taken 
away." God taketh away merciful men in His arms 
as children ; but He cuts the wicked off like the trees 
of the field, and pulls them up by the roots. *'They 
shall drive out Ashdod at noon-day," as so many 
cattle out of the com, "and Ekron shall be rooted 
up" (Zeph. ii. 4). God sends sword, famine, and 
pestilence, as so many dogs, against the wicked, to 
destroy them. But He needs not to hunt these out 
after the godly, nor summon them, for they go 
willingly. Says Joshua, xxiii. 14, " I go the way of all the 
earth." A good preparation before God's anger come 
to cut us off, is to get peace made up with Him. O 
to be ready to lie down under His feet. AVhen the 
king calls some to judgment, He does not summon 
them, but writes them with His own hand. In Ezekiel 
viii.. He denounces judgment in four several places 
against idolaters ; but in chap. ix. He bids them see 
the judgment. But how gets Christ His '^ third partV^ 
He must fight for them ; and kindle a fire, and cast 
them into it, before He get them. He draws the 



42 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



sword, kindles a fire, and casts them into the furnace, 
and courts His wife there. Now Christ is like no 
other captain : many captains get towns without 
stroke of sword, which surrender willingly to them; 
but Christ never took in a town, nor got a people, but 
by a strong hand. He is like a captain who gets His 
living by His sword. The rod, the sword, the fire, 
and pulling, drawing, and storming the conscience, are 
used, and yet they stand out. (See Hosea vi. 4? 5? ^? 
7). God has a church here, but He cannot get His 
third part separated from the rest, but by stroke of 
sword. It is a sore matter or He conquer!** He 
must first fill the places with dead bodies, (Psalm ex. 6). 
And ere our Lord get His third part in this land, to be 
as He would have them, it will cost Him to plead the 
quarrel of the covenant with fire and sword. I have 
chosen thee in the fire, I have set my love upon thee; 
and ere I could have thee, thou wast cast into the 
furnace. He will refine thee as silver. Though the 
house should be burnt, God will have a care of the 
silver and the jewels, the godly, whom He gathers 
into His treasury. 

Now, there are two sorts of metal, which our Lord 
will not admit into the treasury, i. Light clipped 
metal. The clipped silver that wants so much due 
weight, that is the money God refuses. So it is said 
of the king of Babylon, Thou art weighed in the 
balance, and art found light. Such are the men that 
are found light in God's balance, windy, light, and soft 
^ men : when God puts His hand to them, they cannot 
abide a touch, but go all to pieces among His hands : 
they cannot sufi'er trouble, but they melt in the fire, and 
are worse after a downfall than before : these God casts 

* Ere He conquer, much must be borne. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



43 



away. Now, see that ye have the two weights that God 
seeketh ; I mean, be answerable to your profession. 
When ye are weighed, the balance will tell you better 
than the eye. God's weights will try if you have true 
grace. 

2. He casts away the dross, the tin, and the brass, 
and will put none of it in His treasury. Whether it be 
guilded or washen brass, and put in a bag beside the 
gold, God will see what is but copper. Gold is gold 
now. Go therefore, each man, and see what metal ye 
are of, for God is kindling a fire in this land to try us; 
and when God's trial is come, we will see who burneth, 
and who glanceth^ in the fire (Ezek. xxii. i8). Many 
Avill appear like gold, and yet in reality are but 
watered t copper : they look like gold, they glitter and 
are yellow coloured, but when they are cast into the 
fire, the watering will go off, and there comes out 
nothing but dross. Demas and Ahithophel were of 
brass, which a little knock of the hammer broke all to 
pieces, and the devil comes to gather up the fragments. 
Joseph stood a temptation to lust, and did not yield 
(Gen. xxxix. 9). Ye make a wide profession, yet art 
not like Joseph, who said, " How then can I do this 
great wickedness, and sin against God ?" Fill up your 
chair, and fill up your coat ; fill it up ; the trial is near ! 
God has taken up His balance to weigh you. Look 
what you want, and nm to Christ's golden mine and 
get it. See that ye be in Christ, and when Christ and 
you are put in the balance together, you and He will 
be good weight. His righteousness will be weighed 
with you, and it is no clipped metal. 

** They shall call on My ?ia7ne, and I will hear them." 
— See then, that this is the way to get relief from 

Shines bright. t Plated over. 



44 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



troubles and temptations, when ye are trysted \vith 
them. Call on God by prayer, and ye shall obtain 
mercy. Thus the fire at last brings out mercy : and 
prayer in the fire is one of those sweet smells that 
God's spices cast forth. In the fire, the smoke of 
prayer, sighing and groaning that comes forth, goes 
up to heaven. See then what comes of trouble. 
It looks not unlike that, Rom. v. 3, 4, 5, " Knowing 
that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experi- 
ence; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not 
ashamed." We would not have so many errands to 
the Lord, if we wanted trouble. An afflicted church 
is a praying church, and we need not be afraid of a 
praying church, if we could attain to this. If ye ask. 
Why the Lord tries His children so hard? Answer, 
Because they are slack in prayer. God gets not that 
worship of prayer that is due to Him by fair means : 
He useth law against us, and what mercy they shall 
have, says He, they shall have the sense of My favour. 
^^ I will say ^ It is My people; and they shall say^ The 
Lord is my God.'' — There is (if we may so speak) a 
shaking of hands on both sides. There God claims 
kindness to His people, and they claim kindness to 
Him; He takes hold of them, and they cleave to Him; 
He loveth them, and they love Him. Kindness 
between God and His people, stands never on one 
side, it is on both sides. However, God must begin. 
Love is not an herb that grows with the root upper- 
most, and the top down : it grows not up, but comes 
do^^^l from God, and the beams of it spring up to Him 
again. See this meeting. Song i. 4, the church says, 
Draw me. She speaks to Christ to draw her; then 
says Christ, chap. ii. 10, ^'Rise up, my love, my fair 
one, and come away." He seeks her, and she seeks 
Him. She says, '^ Tell me, O Thou whom my soul 



COMMUNIOX SEKMONS. 



45 



loveth, where Thou feedest," chap. i. 7. I ^vill be 
where thou dwellest, I 7C'ill be where thou art. Christ 
seeks you in the sacrament, seek ye Him again, and 
though the devil should say the contrary, there shall 
be a meeting. She says, chap. iii. 3, " Saw ye Him 
whom my soul loveth.'' He says, chap. iv. 8. " Come 
with Me from Lebanon." He calls her. She says, 
chap. i. 4, " We will remember "I'hy love more than 
wine !" He says, chap. iv. 10, " How much better is 
thy love than wine !" He calls her, " His love and 
fair one," chap. ii. 10. She calls Him, chap. v. 10, 
"White and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand !" 
Let His love get a meeting ; He fought through death 
and hell to find you ; seek ye Him through all troubles. 
He bought you dear; say ye, O that I could buy Him, 
and give all that I have or could do for Him. There 
is not any blessed marriage otherwise. Love ye not 
Christ dearly ? Would ye not suffer and die for Him, 
as He suffered and died for you ? It is not marriage- 
love if it is not so ; it is but feigned love. Now Christ 
is holding forth His love to you this day, will ye not 
accept of the offer, and will ye return nothing again ? 
I like not that kindness when there is no taking and 
giving, no borrowing and lending betwixt Christ and 
you. May the Lord Jehovah persuade you to em- 
brace the offer, and flee into lovely Christ Jesus, the 
glorious Prince of renown, and to Him be praise for 
ever and ever. Amen. 




SERMON 1 11.'^ 

Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered ; and I 

will tii7'7i mine hand npon the Utile ones, ^c, — Zechariah 
xiii. 7, 8, 9. 

WHAT is the Kirk like when the Shepherd is 
stricken, the head all black with strokes, the 
members all chased away, and hiding themselves in 
this hole and that hole ? The case is dolorous enough. 

Indeed Christ's back is at the wall now. The great 
Shepherd (if we may say so) has gotten such a bite on 
the heel, by that great hell's hound, the devil, that he 
cannot walk. He is under God's wrath, and death 
has given him the stakesf to keep. Dogs have come in 
among the sheep, and scattered them ; and stout fair- 
tongued Peter has taken a backside. The enemy is 
saying. Take up holy Christ now ! for all His holiness 
He is slain ! and His disciples have taken to their 
heels for it, fled to the hills, and are gone. 

Christ might now say, as it is in Psalm Ixix. 20, 
" Reproach hath broken my heart ; and I am full of 
heaviness : and I looked for some to take pity, but 
there was none ; and for comforters, but I found none." 
Now might Christ say, Where are all my friends and 
mother's sons ? Ken ye where Christ dwells with His 
Avife in this world ? I say, Just in a cot-house; they lie 

* Preached at a Communion, in Kirkmabreck, in the year 
1630. 
t A proverb — left nothing worth having. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



47 



on a straw bed, and even on the floor. They are in 
a silly smoky house, all full of reek. Here is the man 
^' whom the nation abhorreth " (Isai. Ixix. 7). And his 
kirk is like a gardener's lodge, a cot-house, or a shep- 
herd's tent. Ken ye not Christ's word, ^^ The kingdom 
of God comes not \\dth obser\^ation." His noise is not 
heard in the street ; he comes not with coaches 
rattling on the causeway, and many men with him. 
It is said, Zech. ix. 9, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter 
of Zion ; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem : behold, thy 
King cometh unto thee." How comes he then ? In 
truth not very king like, '^ Lowly, and riding upon an 
ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." No mantle, 
nor yet a saddle ; but they laid their garments on the 
ass, and the foolish children about him, crj^ing, 
Hosanna. Yet there is the Kings of kings. He was 
Christ, for as simple and despicable as they took Him 
to be. And what are His own poor folks? Even 
esteemed in all ages the off-scourings of the world. 
See what a word the apostle has, i Cor. i. 25, "The 
foolishness of God is wiser than men : and the weak- 
ness of God is stronger than men." When Christ came, 
each one said, Is this He? A scorn ! This is not the 
Messiah, the King who Jeremiah said shall reign and 
prosper? (Jer. xxiii. 5). And who Daniel said, should 
have an everlasting dominion'? (Dan. vii. 14). Is this 
the Messiah ? the son of a carjienter, a beggar's son ! 
O fy ! Ye disgrace the nation of the Jews, if ye say 
this is your king. This man looks not like a king. I 
recollect a story of a man, who had no genteel fashions, 
who came in amongst a number of nobles; he shoots 
him, and he shoots him," saying, ^Vhere away is the ill- 
bred body going ? So was Christ tossed from side to 

* This man and that man pushes him aside contemptuously. 



48 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



side ; they all hissed at Him, and scorned Him ; and 
yet He was their King ! 

This condemns a proud lordly faith. The repent- 
ing thief had a humble faith ; he believed that crucified 
Christ was Christ, and the King of the Jews; although 
he saw Him a despised man. I say, there is a 
humble faith, and a lordly faith. The disciples had a 
proud faith when they thought Christ should have 
restored the kingdom to Israel, and made them like 
kings on the earth ; but they were all mistaken. We 
have a proud high-looking faith if we will not have 
Christ to be Christ, unless He come in clothes all of 
gold, with much noise and rumbling coaches on the 
causeway, with six thousand chariots, and many horse- 
men. Because we see rulers, princes, and nobles 
against Christ, our proud faith saith, It is not He. 
Nay, but our faith must learn to look to Christ as low 
as the grave, and to His kirk in prison. 

" 1 7inll turn Mine hand 7ipon the little Ofies^ — That 
is, I will turn My hand, and gather the scattered 
flock. Now, ^^ turning of the hand'' is a speech, in 
allusion to shearers, or mowers in a meadow, who 
fetch in a great roll of hay, or com, with the scythe 
and hook. Christ takes not in all His corn in one 
day ; He comes and drives in one flock this day to 
the kingdom of grace, and some day another. Christ's 
house is dail}^ gro A'ing ; and, indeed, it will cost Him 
many turnings of His hand ere He set us all in His 
Father's barn-yard. For we are over fond to be in 
Satan's broad fields, in following the sinful fashions 
and customs of the times. We have itching ears 
after new guises.''^ See what outbreakings are in Noah, 
David, Peter, and the rest of the Aposles, who ran 

* Fashions. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 49 



away from Christ when He suffered ; but He turned ^ 
His hand upon them and brought them back. He 
will take many shifts before He lose one of His little 
ones. He is hunting and seeking after them by every 
sermon, and at every communion. He must of \ 
necessity, from His redeeming love and election in : 
the covenant of redemption, brings them all in. ^' All ;' 
that the Father giveth Me, shall come unTo Me ; and ;' 
him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out '' 
(John vi. 37). And what more? He says, verse 39, 
" And this is the Father's will which hath sent Me, 
that of all which He hath given Me, I should lose 
nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." 
His Father said. Son, bring them all in with Thee, 
they shall all be welcome for Thy sake. " That He 
might present it to Himself a glorious church, not hav- 
ing spot, or wTinkle, or any such thing" (Eph. v. 27). 
The Lord Jesus (if we may so speak) shall take all 
His little ones in His arms at the last day, and say, 
Father, take, there's them all. And then He shall 
give up the kingdom to the Father, when all things 
shall be subdued, and made subject unto Him; ^Hhat 
God may be all in all" (i Corinthians xv. 28). 
May a poor conscience think, alas ! What will Christ 
do with me? Answer, Nay, thou shalt not fall by* in 
the telling, t If one of His, thou shalt be among the 
rest ; Christ will turn His hand upon thee also. 

^'Little oriesT — Who be these? Those who are 
learning to speak, and can cry little more than Abba, 
Father. It is true, except ye be bom again, and be as 
little children who are learning to speak, ye cannot enter 
into the kingdom of heaven. Little children who are 
but learning to speak, have not high spirits, nor ken 

* Aside. t The counting over. 

D 



JO COMMUNION SERMONS. 



what pride is. Never one of them seeks to be a lord, a 
prince, or a king ; though they be King's children. ^ 
If they be but learning to speak and walk, there is no 
striving for place among them, as among the old, who 
must have a place in ParHament. So are all those 
who are Christ's; they are humble, and not high- 
minded. But the proud man is a broad and high 
man, he casts up his heart to look above both God and 
man. Habakkuk ii. 5. The king of Babylon's appetite 
was as wide as hell, and the grave. These creatures^ 
greatly swelled with pride, must have much driven off 
them before they enter heaven's gates. For the porch 
door of the palace of the King of gloiy is low, and 
narrow; so strait, that, ere Christ-man could win in, 
and get a new room to be Prmce and Lord, He 
became a little one. " Being found in fashion as a 
man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto 
death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 11. 8). 
Then, bis: men, ye will not win to heaven. If ye say, 
Who is the big man? Even the proud man, who is so 
long and so broad, and the door of heaven so Imv and 
narrow, that there must be much clipped off him 
before he win in there. Pride gets up to be at the 
throne in heaven, the country where it was first con- 
ceived in the breast of the proud devils, those fallen 
stars who were driven out of heaven for their pride. 
But God will not let pride in there again; it is for ever 
debarred. Then woe to the proud man, for he shall 
not enter in there. Amongst all sins, pride takes 
most room : it is a cumbersome neighbour to God, 
• and would be in upon His bounds. The prmce of 
Tyrus saith, " I am a God, I sit in the feet of God, m ^^ 
the midst of the seas" (Ezekiel xxviii. 2). The man 
who is not 2:iven up to the love of the world but aead 
and crucified to it is one of Christ's little ones. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



S' 



Then the covetous man cannot enter into heaven; 
there is strange tatters of clay hanging on him. He 
cannot enter until the bunch be driven off his back. 
Ye might as well put a ship's tow^ through a needle's 
eye. Worldly men are too great to win through the 
strait gate. Adam, ere he sinned, was a little one. But 
O ! how big doth sin make men. In a word, we could 
be content with heaven if we could win there with our 
predominant lusts. We have no will to want anything 
in length and breadth. 

'^ Afidit shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith 
the Lord ; two parts therein shall be cut off, and die, but 
the third part shall be left therein^ — Here is an uni- 
versal trial : all the land shall be divided into three 
parts, two parts shall be cut off and die, and the third 
part shall come into the fire, come out as they will 
again. All must go through God's fire, to see whether 
they stand it or not. All must be winnowed, to try 
whether they are corn, or chaff, Isaiah xxxi. 9, " He 
is called the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and His 
furnace in Jerusalem." God cannot want fire in His 
house, He has aye something to do with it. And 
because the case is thus with us, What will ye do when 
the Lord's fire is kindled in Zion? Then let the wicked 
now laugh at the righteous for adhering to God's cause 
as they will, we will one day see who will laugh best 
and longest. For, when the trial comes, the wicked — 
two parts — shall die ; and the godly — one part — shall 
be left alive. 

" The third part shall be /^/."— When all goeth to 
all, the Lord's third part shall be left, and His kirk 
spared. God winnoweth the kirk, but let the hardest 
world come that can come, He will aye have a kirk, 

Cable. 



52 



COMMUNION' SERMONS, 



and not want a witness. This is it that the enemies 
continually hunt after, that the Lord may not have a 
kirk on the earth. The gates of hell are opened, and 
armies are come from hell against the kirk of God. 
And armies from Rome, Antichrist, and the Dragon, 
follow the woman near to be delivered of a man-child : 
but God provides a place for her in the wilderness. 
And, howbeit, the dragon spew out of his mouth a 
flood after the woman; yet the earth openeth her 
mouth, and swalloweth up the flood. So let the 
enemies rage, let the devil mount on horseback, and let 
all his vassals put on their armour and follow him, 
they shall as soon put Christ out of heaven, as utterly 
destroy the kirk of God. The gates of hell cannot 
prevail there; nay, the devil and all his emissaries 
shall be finally overcome at last. *^ Behold, I will 
make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people 
round about." A cup of cold poison ; it is said that 
those who drink cold poison tiemble to death with 
cold. So will the enemies of the kirk. *'In that day 
will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all 
people : all that burden themselves with it shall be 
cut to pieces, though all the people of the earth be 
gathered together against it" (Zech. xii. 2, 3). Let them 
be doing, then, and dash hard heads ** with Christ, and 
see whose head is hardest. When God sets the house 
on fire. He takes out His children. His jewels, and 
His gold ; and lets the fire take the rest, though they 
were silks and satins. 

''And shall bring ike third part through the fireP— 
There is a necessity for us to go once through the 
fire. Can our Lord not get a kirk from among the 
dross, but by fire ? No, indeed. Christ plucks His 

' Job XV. 26. 



COMMUNIOK SERMONS. 



53 



own out of hell, and from among the rest of the 
world, by fire and sword, as it were by the hair of 
the head. It is not with our will that Christ gets us. 
To be short — those who come to Christ, first or last, 
are chased upon life and death. Christ wins all His 
at the point of the sword ere He get them. Every 
battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and gar- 
ments rolled in blood ; but this of Christ here is with 
burning and fuel of fire. What a battle had the 
Lord with Jonah, when He fought with him in the 
sea, and in the whale's belly. Also, David, near 
ten months' time, held out a castle against God ; and 
our Lord behoved to fall on, both with word and 
sword, before He would yield. We are indeed a 
piece of hard metal, and ill to work. Christ will spare 
no pains to gain His own. 

'' I will bring the third part through the fire r — There 
is a sweet word. God, says he, will take His bride by 
the hand in the furnace; He will tell them each 
step they have to go in trouble. '' Because he hath 
set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him : I 
will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him : I will 
be with him in trouble ; I will deliver him, and honour 
him" (Psalm xci. 14, 15). *^ When thou passest through 
the waters, I will be with thee ; and through the rivers, 
they shall not overflow thee : when thou walkest through 
the fire, thou shalt not be burnt ; neither shall the flame 
kindle upon thee" (Isaiah xliii. 2). Would ye ken where 
the Lord is? Even at the bed-side of a groaning 
child. Yea, when His people are in a swoon. He is 
under their head, bearing them up; and when in 
trouble. He has them by the hand, and sustains them. 
Trow ye not but a hold of His hand would be heart- 
ening to them though they were in hell ? He has a 



54 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



hold of you by the hand, and ye may be His, though 
ye know it not. Ye may truly believe in Him, and 
not have the sensible assurance thereof. He may be 
leading you with faith, and hope of light and direc- 
tion, though, for the present, ye want His sensible 
presence. Ye may be raving and in a fever, and your 
heavenly Father at your bed-side, howbeit ye see 
Him not. Because ye droop, and have not a joyful 
sense of His presence, ye say, ^^ He is not with you.'* 
Ye cry with the kirk, " For these things I weep ; mine 
eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the 
comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me" 
(LauL i. 1 6). How far from you? Even standing at 
the furnace, blowing the bellows, and looking on whilst 
His gold melts. Ye \vill not believe that your sense 
can make a lie of God. Indeed, it were easy to prove 
that ye are seeking a plea* with God, and fancying a 
fault in Him, because ye get not a feast of joy and 
comfort. May it not satisfy you, that He leads you in 
trouble, howbeit He kiss you not. 

^' And will refine them as silver is refined; and will 
fry them as gold is tried.'' — Then, if there be any good 
metal in you, as silver and gold, make ready for the 
furnace of the children of God. When trouble 
comes through the land, His people are ready to think 
that, because they have true grace, they shall be kept 
from the scourge. Nay, but your gold must go to the 
fire as well as the deviFs dross. Peter says, " That 
the trial of your faith, being much more precious than 
the gold which perisheth, though it be tried in the fire, 
might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at 
the appearing of Jesus Christ" (i Peter i. 7; Jer. i. 18). 
There, says the Lord, " I have made thee a defenced 

• A quarrd. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



55 



city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls, against the 
whole land," &c. But for what end? Not that 
Jeremiah might go and lay himself down in the sun. 
No. Verse 19, "And they shall fight against thee, 
but they shall not prevail against thee ; for I am with 
thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee." When Jesus is 
full of the Holy Ghost, the devil shoots thiee of his 
arrows at Him, one after another. (Luke iv. i, 13.) 
So it is with God's children. When Paul was con- 
verted, he had an enemy in every to^vn. God's gold 
is made for the fire, and not to be laid up in the 
comer of a chest, or hidden in the earth as the 
wretch's pose.* Then make you for the fire, I say, 
make you for it. The devil will blow until he sweat, 
and yoke to t his hammer-men to batter you, and his 
plough to make long furrows on your souls. The 
enemies of the kirk are the devil's under-smiths, to 
mend the fire and blow the bellows. Nay, if God be 
sending a trial on this land, ye are to thank Him for 
it. Blessed be God, because He hath silver and gold 
in Scotland ! Yea, ye say ye are never tempted. Alas ! 
it is very possible, ye are but deaf nuts, t and so God 
thinks He will not lose His elding and fire-wood for 
you. A city or town that the devil sets not on, to 
take it in, has little luck in it : or else he has the keys 
of the port at his belt already. What said James, 
chapter i. 2, he says, " My brethren, count it all joy 
when ye fall into divers temptations ; " but ye are 
ready to count it all sorrow. Christ says, " Blessed is 
the man that endureth temptation, for when he is 
tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the 
Lord hath promised to them that love Him" (James 
L 12). Then, beware ye be not all dross, for the fire 

* The miser's hoard, t Set on. X No kernel in them. 



56 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



will burn you into white ashes, a blast will blow ye 
away, and ye will be cast out like dung, and turned 
into hell. For would ye know what men are not 
gold? The men who are all soft dross; and when the 
burnt dross and ashes are cast out, the wind blows 
them away through the air. The wicked are as soft 
ashes, and a blast will blow them all away. They are 
as soft dross : a temptation wins into the soul, prevails 
at the first knock, and the devil goes through it as a 
feaF dyke. Let Balaam hear tell of gold ! because he 
was but dross that temptation went through him : he 
saddled his ass, and would go and try the market. 
When the High Priest came athwart ^\ith thirty 
pieces of silver, then Judas is blown away with it. 
When Absalom sees an appearance of the people's 
hearts being towards him, he yields incontinent and 
makes to it. Nay, I think when the temptation comes 
to the wicked man's soul, and knocks, he knows a 
friend's tongue at the door, and opens and lets him in; 
whereas the children of God are hardened against 
troubles and temptations, and can give the devil three 
nay-says, t 

''And they shall say, The Lord is my Godr — Then 
the people were at a feast of sense and joy, when they 
answered God. We see then there is a time when you 
get your sense full; as much joy as you can hold. So 
was the Church, Cant. ii. 3, *' I sat down under his 
shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to 
my taste." But gets Christ aye an answer ? No ; He 
knocks and better knocks, 1 Cant. v. 5, but she is 
more concerned about a good sleep, and a warm bed, 
than all her beloved's love. Yea, ye may say, Why is 
it not aye so ? Nay, but a feast of sense is a , feast 

* A turf-fence. t Denials. % Knocks over and over. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



57 



appointed for a high time. Send up faith, hope, and 
love, to God, for it. What ails you at your meat? 
Nothing; but ye have a lordly stomach, like a servant 
that is offended if he be not as well fed as his master. 
Sense and joy are kings' meat, to be enjoyed in heaven. 
Your weak stomach is like the children's, who love to 
eat meat that they are not able to bear, but would be 
death to them. 

" They shall call on My name'' — The people of 
God claim kindness to Him even in the fire, and 
though they think that they are cast off. Nay, the 
children of God will not fall out with Him for strokes : 
they cannot be driven away from Him. When the 
children of this world are put away from God, they 
take their leave and seek another master. When a 
servant is put out of the house, and gets his leave, he 
will not break his heart; he goes and seeks another 
master, and cares as little for the former one as he 
does for him. But a son cannot do so; he may not 
quit the inheritance so, but will stay about the house 
till his father repent, and take him in again. The 
wicked are like the shipwrecked man, who quits the 
ship, and betakes himself to swimming, and resolves 
to make legs and arms serve him for a ship. So do 
the wicked, when God seems to be a wrecked ship, 
they quit Him; for they cannot pray in trouble, and 
therefore resolve to swim. I do not love it when men 
resolve to seek another refuge than God. David 
could say, 2 Sam. xv. 26, ^^ But if he thus say, I have 
no delight in thee ; behold, here am I, let Him do to 
me as seemeth good unto Him." He is showing there 
how little the Lord is obliged to him, and that he is 
patient, and willing to submit to the Lord's chastening, 
as both just and wise. 

But is it not presumption to lay claim to God when 



58 COMMimiON SERMON'S. 



He denies us ? No. Ye desire to claim kindness to 
Him, and dare not give up with Him ? I say that is a 
hold of the covenant which ye have. Allowing, but 
not granting, that God has given up with you, yet ye 
have no warrant to lose your hold of Him. Although 
you may think that God has given you up, yet keep 
the earnest and love tokens ye got at the communion; 
for if ye begin to question the work of God, that is to 
return again the earnest of the bargain betwixt you. 

'^ I will say, It is My people.''' — Here a sweet meeting, 
a sweeter agreement between God and His people 
than if they had never fallen out. Hence we see that 
after a sore outcast there is greater love betwixt Christ 
and His people than before. The forlorn "^ son came 
home, loved his father, and his father's house and 
bread, better than ever he did before. So it is with 
the people of God. " In those days, and in that time, 
saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they 
and the children of Judah together, going and weeping : 
they shall go and seek the Lord their God : they shall 
ask the way to Zion, with their faces thither^vard, 
saying. Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in 
a perpetual covenant, that shall not be forgotten" (Jer. 1. 
4, 5). And He says in the sixth verse, " My people hath 
been lost sheep ; their shepherds have caused them to 
go astray; they have turned them away on the moun- 
tains." He afterwards promiseth a free forgiveness, 
verse 20, and foretells the destruction of their enemies, 
the Babylonians, verse 35. Read another sweet place, 
Jer. xxxi. 20, "Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a 
pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do 
earnestly remember him still; therefore my bowels are 
troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him." 

Lost prodigal 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



59 



Then the Lord says, Dear, silly Ephraim, My dear 
child, has a broken heart that he has grieved Me, and 
I tell you I have a sore heart and troubled bowels 
that I was so rough to him, and cast him off. And so 
there is a new embracing betwixt the Lord and His people 
(Ezekiel xvi. 60), &c. There God, after a new agree- 
ment, remembers His covenant towards them. Then 
marvel not; though there be new out-casts betwixt 
Christ and Scotland, I hope that the end of it shall be, 
that Christ and Scotland shall yet weep in one another's 
arms ; and the poor people, after they have come 
through the trial, shall go towards Zion, and say, 
Which is the way to Zion ? Where shall we find the 
Lord ? When the Lord shall again take in this land 
anew. As after a wood is cut, there appears a fair 
young green wood, so the Lord will have a numerous 
seed yet to serve Him in Scotland. Scotland will have a 
new growth, like a second growth, that grows after a 
long hot drought. There will be many sweet calm 
showers, summer showers, which will make our withered 
garden grow green again ; and so become a fair green 
garden with many pleasant flowers. Seek to be among 
Christ's little ones, and covenant yourself away to 
Him, that so ye may be able to say, the Lord is your 
God ; and that He may acknowledge you to be His 
people. And, if you are His, there is no fear of a 
happy out-gate, though you should have ever so many 
straits, trials, and diflficulties in the way. The Lord 
enable you to close with Him. Amen. 




SERMON I V. "- 

Then said He unto him^ A certam man made a great supper^ and 
bade 7nany ; a^id sent his servant at supper time to say 
to them that were bidden^ Cojiie ; for all things are now 
ready ^ 6^c. — Luke xiv. 1 6, 17, «S:c. 

THERE are two things which we have to mark in 
this parable. i. The dependance thereof on 
the preceding words. 2. The sum and scope of Christ's 
words therein. 

The Lord is shewing what sort of guests they must 
invite to their feast ; even the poor and needy, whom 
the Lord shall recompense ^^at the resurrection of the 
just." Whereupon, a man who sat at meat with Him 
(whether a Pharisee or not is uncertain) says to Christ, 
^' Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of 
God." Many call them happy who have part in 
Christ, and yet think it not. Many will talk broad 
words for the kingdom of heaven, and of the worth of 
Christ ; but when it comes to this. What will ye quit 
for Christ ? Will ye quit your farms and your lands 
for Christ? Will ye quit your five yoke of oxen for 
Christ ? And will ye quit youi new married wife, and 
your children, for Christ ? — then they niake a stand, 
and question all. We are all good Christians till we 
be tried. We often make a fair profession, while we 

* A Preparation Sermon, before the Comrnunion, at Kirkma- 
breck, in Galloway, 1634. 



COMMUMON SERMONS. 6 1 



mar all in practice. Many do with Jesus Christ as 
onlookers do in a great fair; they go through the 
market, and commend everything they see, but never 
open their purse to buy any thing. So multitudes can 
say, ^' It is good to be a Christian ; O ! the Son of God 
is worth all the world;" but they will never offer a 
penny for Christ's cause. They will not want a ridge 
of land, nor suffer the loss of an ox for Him. They 
will rather lose their immortal souls than lose their 
gear. All you who now speak proudly of Christ, when 
persecution comes, see w^hat ye will lose for Him. 
Oh ! the Lord Jesus has many friends, who yet are 
but false friends and flatterers at bottom. They will 
speak good of Him, but will do no good for Him. 
Few leave their nets and custom-box for Him. 
But the man who finds the pearl, he sells all, and 
buys it. 

This man would here say. Blessed are they who 
have a keen appetite to banquet with Jesus Christ. 
This lets us see that many have a false stomach, and 
can call them blessed who eat bread with Christ, as if 
it were from true hunger; and yet it is only like the 
hunger of sick folk, who cry for meat, but as soon as 
they taste of it their stomach recoils, and they can 
take no more of it. IMany have the like hunger for 
Christ; they are soon full of Him when they come to 
the table. Balaam could say, *' How goodly are thy 
tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel," and 
yet for the peace of Jacob, he would not lose court 
with the King of Moab. The petty kings of clay are 
often obeyed at the expense of disobeying the great 
King of heaven. 

I now come to enter upon the particulars of the 
parable. The scope of it is to show " that few obey 
the gospel of Christ," set down under the similitude 



62 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



of a man who made a great supper, and invited many, 
who, notwithstanding of that, refused to come, the 
parts of which are these : — 

I. The Preparation of the Supper : *^ A certain 7nan 
made a great supper, a?id bade via?iyr 

II. The Invitation of the Guests : ^* Come; for all 
things are ?iow ready P 

III. Their refusal : *' They all with one consent 
began to make excuse,'^ &c. And — 

IV. The Servant's coming, and "shewing his Lord 
these things r 

The Lord then takes a second course of fihing up his 
table, albeit they refuse who were first bidden; for he 
loses not his supper. Wisdom's wine that was drawn 
sours not : he gets two sorts of guests to eat his meat. 
I. The diseased and poor. II. The common people 
up and down the streets. And then, III. Ye have 
the Lord's sentence upon the recusants or refusers. 

I. ^^ A certain man made a great supper T — The Lord 
is here offering mercy in the gospel, and is compared 
to a man, not a common man, nor to one who makes 
a supper only for his friends. This shows us God's 
mercy in the gospel. He shows Himself to us a man, 
a friend, banqueting us. But when we become beasts, 
and like the horse or mule that have no understanding, 
He then turns from a man to a lion, and to the house 
of Judah as a young lion; "I, even I, will tear and 
go away, and none shall rescue him." It is a hard 
word that the Lord speaks to Ephraim, Hos. v. 14, 
" I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and to the house 
of Judah as a young lion." If we be men, God will 
be a man to us ; but if we be beasts, God is as a Hon 
and a bear. Lam. iii. 10, " He was unto me as a bear 
l)n[ng in wait, and as a lion in secret places." 

Use. God carries Himself to us as a man and a 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 63 



friend, and has been feasting us these seventy years ; 
and, I assure you, the Lord is near the drawing of the 
table. The ordinary time of removing the table is, 
when all at it are full, and can eat no more. The 
gospel is now loathed by us, and the word of God 
contemned. At the beginning of this Supper, one 
sermon or a Communion was sweet ; people ran to it 
hke hungry banqueters ; now it is disregarded. One 
sermon in the day of the Lord's banquet is now 
thought sufficient. Well, I see men are fallen asleep. 
I fear, beloved, I fear (think of it as ye please) 
the word shall be taken from you, the board drawn, 
and the plague of the Lord follow it. Amos viii. 2, 
The famine of the word of God shall come. The 

11. Part of the parable is, the Lord's invitation of 
the guests, " Come, for all things are now ready ^ — 
Here there be three things, i. A commission to His 
servant, that is, His ministers, to bid those that were 
called Come. 2. The Time — It is at supper-time. 
3. A Reason — ^'All things are now readyT 

I shall only touch these points, and briefly go over 
the words. 

Doctrine, The Lord invites us to a banquet and 
great Supper. That is the hardest word that the 
Gospel speaks to poor sinners, '' Come." Never a 
word of hell, the wrath of God, or the plagues of God 
for sin. But His words are all (though He speaks in 
wrath to His enemies), My dear friends, I shall think 
Myself in your common,* if ye will come and sup with 
Me. Surely, beloved, the Lord might have supped 
Hist alone. The angels are good company; but God 
thinks He wants company if the children of men are 
not with Him ! In Proverbs viii. 31, says Wisdom 

* Under obligation to you. + Without any to bear Him company. 



/ 



64 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



(which is Christ), ^' I was with God, yet playing and 
sporting with the children of men." Here, indeed, is 
love itself, the Lord inviting us to embrace the gospel ! 
He resembles it to a great supper. Merciful God ! Thou 
mightest command us, under the pain of condemnation, 
to come and believe in the Son of God. But not a 
word of that here : the Lord will hire us to come to 
the kingdom of heaven — this is evangelic. The first 
word that the gospel speaks is mercy, mercy to poor 
sinners. Song v. 2, The key wherewith Christ, the 
husband, opens the heart of His kirk is, '' Open to 
Me, My sister. My love, My dove. My undefiled; 
for My head is filled with dew, and My locks with the 
drops of the night." He might have said, AVoe be to 
thee, thou hast put me to the door, and hast taken a 
strange lover in My place ; I will quit thee ; I will go 
suit* in another place ; the back of My hand to thee ; 
I shall never look on thee again. No ; but His 
hardest knock is. Sweet Dove, Love, Fair One, I am 
both wet and weary ; let Me not lie in the streets ali 
night. Jer. iii. 14, *^Turn, O backsliding children, 
saith the Lord." What is the Lord's argument to 
move him ? " For I am married unto you, I am your 
husband." Hosea xi. 3, "I taught Ephraim to go 
taking them l^y the arms." God's mercy is a great 
net ; all the fish that come in the net are brought to 
land. Well, beloved, this is the gospel's voice. 
Come, ye wearied and laden ; but this voice will not 
last aye. In that day when the heavens shall part 
away like a scroll, the elements melt with heat, and 
the wicked cry, ^^ Hills and mountains, fall on us, and 
hide us from the face of the Lamb, for the great day 
of Llis wrath is come, and who can stand?" Not a 

* Go to woo souls. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 65 



word of a Supper then. Alas ! the board will be 
dra^^^l, and God will not care for your company then. 
The 

Second particular is, The servant is sent out at 
supper-time, near night, and bed-time. Then the 
day of God's mercy is but a supper-time ; the edge 
of the evening ; the sun-setting. As long as the 
gospel speaks, it ever cries, Come, welcome, Avelcome, 
Sinners, ye will be welcome to sup with the Lord. 

When all the rest were set down at the table, Paul 
came in, and the master of the house gave him the 
board-head. 

Use, We shall be as welcome to come in at mid- 
supper, as thos^. were, who came to the Lord's vine-- 
yard at the sixth and ninth hour of the day. If ye 
come at the board-drawing, as the thief who died at 
Christ's right hand, and those who came at the 
eleventh hour, ye come to the dessert. But, beloved, 
I beseech you, beware that ye come not after supper, 
when the board is drawn, the goodman of the house 
in his bed, and the door shut, as the foolish virgins 
did. Remember that it is even now Supper-time, 
while the word is preached, and the Sacrament of 
the Lord's body and blood offered ; and blessed are 
they Avho come to the Supper. But woe be to them 
who come after, for they shall lie down in the beds 
of their graves unsupped. As Job says of the hypo- 
crite, *' Their bones shall be full of the sins of their 
youth." Oh ! the world has many debtors, ill debtors, 
who sell their souls for sin ; but what a pitiful thing ! 
for what can they give in exchange for their souls ? 
A man who has to cross the water will run at the 
first call of the seamen, because he knows the tide 
will i-ot wait him. And yet now, men who profess 
they would sail to Canaan, will not come out at the 



66 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



voice of the Lord's mariners, crying, '^ Come, it is now 
tide;" but they let the sea ebb, and sit still. And 
this is the devil's craft, when we have our one foot on 
the shore, and the other in the ship, and have a pur- 
pose to sail from our sins, Satan has a word to say. 
The Levite's father-in-law, urged him to stay a night 
>\dth him,'-' and promised him he should go to-morrow, 
but then, tempted him to stay another night. Even 
so it is here, after we have stayed in the devil's service 
one year, he will urge us to stay another year, and pro- 
mise he shall then demit. O ! that we were wise to 
close our eyes and ears at Satan's delays and tempta- 
tions. And now in the short time of the Gospel, 
while the table is covered^ embrace the Lord's Supper. 
Walk while ye have the light, says the Lord ; ** the 
night Cometh wherein no man can work." Our sins 
tell us that the long shadows are approaching; the 
night is at hand, the gospel is to be removed, and 
happy are they who sup in time. The 

Third particular is the reason why they should 
come — " For all thmgs are ?iow prepared^ And so 
reasons Solomon, Pro v. ix. i, 2,'j"\Visdom hath builded 
her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars ; she 
hath killed her beasts ; she hath mingled her wine ; 
she hath also furnished her table." Matt xxii. 4, *^ Tell 
them which are bidden. Behold, I have prepared my 
dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all 
things are ready, come to the marriage." Thus is 
mercy offered to the people of the Jews, where their 
God made all external means (as the word and sacra- 
ment) ready for them. So that he says, in Isaiah v. 4, 
What could I have done more to my vineyard, that I 
have not done. (Isaiah Ixv. 2), He stretches out His 

* Judges xvi. 6. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 67 



arms, and holds them out all the day long. (Prov. i. 20), 
*^ Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the 
streets.'' Here God is crying, shouting, and casting 
out His arms, Matt xxiii. 37, Luke xix. 40, crying 
and shedding tears. He would have them turn and 
live. But as it is true of the Jews, so it is of us ; He 
has dressed the whole Supper Himself, covered the 
table, and there is no more for us to do, but sit down 
and eat. If we look to this dressed Supper, Christ 
dressed it all Himself, in the furnace of God's wrath, 
and the bread that we here eat is His flesh, which He 
gave for the life of the world. John vi. 51, The wine 
which is mingled and drawn is His blood. And, O, 
sirs, was not our Lord a hot man in making ready this 
Supper ? Not one dish is mis-cooked, all is set before 
us in the gospel, and Jesus craves no more for all His 
pains, but only that His friends come to the banquet 
and eat and be merry ; and if ye will come, Christ will 
ixiy all the reckoning. When the Israelites wxre fed 
with manna, they behoved to go out of the camp, and 
gather it themselves ; but we furnish nothing of this 
Supper. God be thanked, Christ bears all the expense. 
Alas ! alas ! that the unhappy world will not eat 
heartily, since Christ pays for all. The poor sons of 
Adam wxre all sick and at the point of death, and 
their stomachs were so spoiled with a sour apple that 
Adam did eat, that they were famished and not able 
to eat. In comes Jesus and makes a medicinal dinner 
of His own flesh and blood ; lays down Himself and is 
slain to make physic of His crucified body for us, in 
order to afl'ect our cure. It is just they die for hun- 
ger, and lose their stomach for evermore, who loathe 
this meat. In the sacrament all things are ready; 
>vhatever the soul wants, it shall find at the Table. AH 
the hungry shall find Christ meat and drink. John vi. 



68 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



55, They who are poor shall find Him gold, they who 
are naked shall find Him garments, they who are blind 
shall find Him light to the eyes. (Rev. iii. 1 8), *' I counsel 
thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest 
be rich : and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, 
and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear ; 
and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest 
see." Look to the Supper and ye shall find it very 
expensive to Christ, for the fire tha.t made it ready 
was the wrath of God ; the fuel and the elding* was 
Christ, and a great burden of the sins of the elect on 
His back. And if Jesus had not been green timber 
He had been burnt all to ashes. Christ was first boiled 
in His own blood, in the garden of Gethsemane; then 
He was roasted and burnt on the cross, and carved all 
to pieces with nails, spears, and bulfetings, to make 
Him God's bread for the mouth and stomach of be- 
lievers. And the sourest sauce in this supper to 
Christ, was His dear Father hiding Himself And when 
all is done ye cannot do Him a worse turn than not 
to eat heartily. Now, for the Lord's sake, beloved, 
please thegoodman of the house, and eat and welcome. 
The last wine will be the best What would ye have ! 
Here is sweet company, eat, ye are heartily welcome ; 
and ye use to call that great cheer that has great ser- 
vants. Then there is not a plate set on this table by 
angels, far less by man. A curse upon them who bring 
in Mary's Milk, with Martyrs' Blood, as a dessert ! 
No, Christ's blood is in every dish, Christ's flesh is in 
every mess, and Christ's merit is a sweet sauce to all 
the messes. Other meats have no taste at this Supper. 
No, they are plain poison, put in by the devil's hand. 



* The wood for fire. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



69 



who would wish never a living man to rise from the 
table, but all to be poisoned. 

III. '^ A7id they all with one co?isent began to make 
excuse.^^ — Reason would hold the opinion, that, when 
the Lord makes a great Supper for the world, they 
would all be glad to come, and take a meal from Him ; 
and that they would all run, striving who might be 
foremost at the table, and nearest the Lord's hand ! 
No, but it is not so here ; for there be three sorts of 
men, who all with one consent refuse to come. 
The first says, I have bought a farm : the second, 
I have bought five yoke of oxen : and the third says, 
I have married a wife. Honour holds away the first ; 
riches and profit, the second; and pleasure and lust, 
the third. It has been so since the beginning. God 
and the world have aye been at holding and draw- 
ing for men's soul ; God draws and the world holds 
fast. Here be the world's three gods : honour, profit, 
and pleasure. This is their trinity, their Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost. John, in his first Epistle, chapter ii., 
sets down the doctrine of the world's trinity. In that 
place he is forbidding men to love the world, and gives 
good reason for it. Says he, verse 16, ^^ For all that 
is in the world, the lust of the flesh," that is, inordi- 
nate pleasure, "and the lust of the eyes," that is, 
coveteousness, '^and the pride of life," that is, honour, 
"is not of the Father, but is of the world." 

'^ A?id they all with one cofisent^^ says the Lord, 
" reftised.^^ I would have you to consider two things. 
I. The refusal of the guests. 2. The number of 
recusants. 

For the first, ^^ All with one coiisent began to make 
excHseP — Indeed, it seems wonderful that, amongst the 
three sorts of people, not one of them will leave so much 
as an ox for Christ ! May not the Lord bring them all in 



70 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



to the Supper whom He calls ? I answer, He may do 
that ; " For many are called, but few are chosen " (Matt. -^^ 
xxii. 14).' But we must here consider one of the 
deepest mysteries of God's counsel. There is a two- 
fold calling. I. There is one-external, or out^Yard, 
whereby God calls men who obey not : here many are 
called to the Supper, but few come. 2. There is an 
inward calling, whereof the Apostle speaks, Romans 
viii. 30, " Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them 
He also called ; and whom He called, them He also 
justified." 

I St. If you look at God's outward calling, in I 

respect of the word and sacraments. This calling ' 
finds men hand and foot in Satan's chains, and 
looses them not ; for God has bound them. He bids 
them loose themselves, as they are obliged to do; 
because obedience is a debt that reprobates, in so far \ 
as they are God's creatures, are owing to Him. And \ 
why should not the great Creator and Lord of the 
universe crave dyvours and bankrupts, although, by 
their own fault, they have nothing wherewith to pay ? 
And, therefore, unto both such as are effectually called, 
and such as obtain not grace to obey, the Lord is 
crying, Dyvour, pay thy debt or else go to prison. 
God, not having elected them to salvation, and finding 
them in the state of sin, and so only slaves and 
bastards (for the Cautioner, Christ, will not pay every 
bastard's debt), He leaves them with this. Either pay 
or die ; and they willingly lie still, and love to live, 
and die in Satan's arms. But 

j 2nd. There is an inward calling, whereby God, not 
[only by His word, cries and shouts to waken up sleep- .^ 
'ing sinners : but also by His Spirit inwardly breathes *• 
^ the life of God into them, and sets them upon their 
feet. Those are said to be given of the Father to the 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



7? 



Son ; the Son receives and keeps them : and this is a 
wonderful calling. The Father craves the debt of 
obedience from us, and says, "Pay, and obey My 
calUng, as ye are obliged to do ; " and in comes the 
Son, by His Spirit, and slips the sum into our hand, 
even the price of obedience, and says. Because My 
name is in the contract betwixt the Father and you, I 
will give you to pay my Father withal ; and, so long 
as I have, you shall not want. So that, although 
the elect be dyvours, yet they are their Father's 
dyA'Ours; and have a good Friend that pays for 
them. 

In this calling there is a great mystery. God is both 
calling and answering in our hearts. In a good 
sense, this calling is God's calHng upon His OAvn 
Spirit in us, and we returning an answer by that 
same Spirit which dwelleth in us — the Father cry- 
ing, Come to the Supper, My elect people; and 
the Son, by His Spirit answering in our hearts. My 
Father, behold we are coming. In the Word of God, 
this calling is called a knocking at the door of our 
hearts for access to come in and sup with us. And, 
indeed, at one time the Lord is without knocking 
for admittance, and at another time He is within 
opening the door — without knocking, and within 
drawing. Ye will find Scripture for this. Acts xiv. 14, 
Paul is preaching to Lydia's heart : now, behold, there 
is God without calling and knocking by the word ; 
and behold, in the same verse it is said, '^The Lord 
opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended unto 
the things which were spoken of Paul." God be 
thanked, God craves and pays for us. While God 
is crying. Open, His one arm is without the door 
knocking, and the other arm is within drawing the bolt, 
and preparing a lodging for Himself. God is His own 



.72 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



harbinger,^ He makes His own bed, dresses His own 
supper, sweeps His own lodging, and does all 
when He comes. He has nothing of us but bare 
house-room : all the furniture is His own : He 
brings all with Him. The ground and reason of 
this inward calling and sweet election thus run 
equally together. Election is the King^s letters and 
decreet, ordaining such persons, by their names, to 
the kingdom of God ; and effectual calling is comprise- 
ment and imprisonment,! following upon these same 
letters, whereby such as are in Christ's Roll and 
Register Book, are called by the word to grace and 
glory. And, when they force | the King's charge, the 
Father draws them, and the Son bears them in His 
arms : then He rides upon the white horse of the 
gospel, and shoots the arrow of the irresistible word 
of God into the hearts of God's elect, so that they 
must obey and become the Lord's prisoners. His 
conquered, ransomed, and bought ones by virtue of 
the Father's decreet. § Thus the Son has caption 
against the elect. The Father gives them to the Son, 
and He will not want them (Cant. ii. 14). He draws 
His church (John vi. 44). The Spirit of the Father 
draws us to the Son ; for that Christ has of the Father 
by gift, and that He has by good right paid for. It is 
no riot for Him to break both doors and \vindows 
in the soul to get His own. He has law upon His 
side, and a sufficient decreet passed and subscribed 
by His Father's hand. And the doctrine that arises 
from this is, 

I. That the outward means of the word, without 



One who goes on before to provide lodgings, 
f Apprehension. X Refuse. 

§ A writ ordering the arrest of a person. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 73 



the inward working of the Spirit, will not bring us to 
the King s Supper. Here are many called, but they 
excuse themselves that they cannot come, because of 
other employments. This should teach us to hang 
upon the word, but withal to look beyond the word, 
and with the use of the word, call for the inward grace 
of the Spirit. It is not the bottle of the physician 
that heals the sick, but the medicine in the bottle. 
The word and sacraments are but empty bottles, 
except the Lord fill them with His virtue; and without 
this secret virtue we shall set our mouth to an empty 
bottle, and draw in wind, to the hurt of our souls and 
stomachs, which shall prove the savour of death unto 
death, and not the wine of God's refreshing grace. 
Our Lord, speaking to the woman of Samaria, says 
two sundry times (John iv.), that it is He who gives 
the water of life. Now, indeed, in the word and 
sacraments is the well of life ; and since that well is 
opened up in the house of David, good reason that 
He be found of His own, and that He be steward of 
His own heart's blood, and only have the key at His 
owTi girdle. And for what cause else is the kirk said 
to lie within the two arms of Christ ? (Song ii.) How 
can she then fall into a swoon for hunger, or faint 
when she is in the house of wine, where she may be 
cheered up with the comforts of His word? Yes, 
indeed, even there at the fountain head she will die, 
except the Lord hold the cup of spiritual refreshment 
to her mouth. This was experienced in Ezekiel's day 
by the dry bones, chapter xxxvii., where he says, the 
Lord caused him to prophesy; then bone came to 
bone, and sinews upon the bones, and flesh upon the 
sinews; then to prophesy to fetch spirit and breath 
that they might live. So the word without the Spirit 
is a blank charter, without our name written in it, 



74 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



without a seal, and without a subscription. The 
sacrament without the Spirit is no better than a piece 
of naked wax without seals of land. The 

Second point is, the number of recusants. ^^They 
all with one consent began to viake excuse^^ says the 
Lord. Hence, observe, 

1. The number who follow an ill course are the 
greatest, Gen. vi. 12. In Ahab's days, there was 
only one honest, Micaiah, while there was four hun- 
dred lowns.* Abraham durst not give his word that 
there would be five righteous persons in five great 
cities. Jer. i. 18, Against the Lord and Jeremiah, 
are kings, princes, priests, and people: there is a 
whole parliament, the three Estates of the land. 
Desolate truth stands her alone ;t she has a thin 
court (Matt, xxvii. 21). Men would say. Sin has not 
such a throng court now as it had in the days of 
Christ ; for now men, because of their oxen and their 
land, come to Christ's Supper. This is soon said. 
If we mean only eating and drinking, that proves 
nothing to justify our age; for Judas came that way; 
and if the devil himself had a true body, he might 
come to the Lord's table in that way. But how 
many in this kirk leave their hearts at home, when 
they come to the table of the Lord. Try your con- 
sciences here. 

2. It condemns the religion of our time. *^ We 
live as our neighbours," say many. Many have a 
custom of swearing. Will ye do so, then? I say, 
these men take upon credit, and believe as the world 
does. Company is good, but company in hell is 
small comfort. Men vow Christ to be their husband, 
just as kings woo their queens; for they only hear of 

Rogues. + Unsupported. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



75 



them by report, and see their pictures, and upon that 
marriage passes betwixt them : so the men of our age 
hear of Christ by report. They paint a heaven in 
their own head, and a faith of their own, and run as 
a beast after the drove. But a man who would serve 
Christ as he should do, must indeed be a mocking 
stock to the world, and a wonder to many, Psalm 
Ixxi. 7. But think nothing to be counted, with 
Marius, a good man, all except one thing, that is, 
he is a Christian. Their answer is not a flat denial 
of God, and a disgraceful speaking of the Supper; 
but they all form a reason, every one, and desire to 
be excused. What is the meaning of the excuse I 
pray ? You tell God that ye love Him, ye love His 
Supper, ye love to be in His company; but say, "I 
pray Thee have me excused;'' I cannot but love my land, 
my five yoke of oxen, and my \vife, better than Thee. 
But if men knew Christ, they would say. Woe be to 
that farm, woe be to that ox, and woe be to that 
pleasure, that holds Christ and me asunder so long. 
However, they refuse to come to the Supper, yet 
they give a fair excuse to the Lord, and pray him to 
excuse them. 

2. There is no sin we commit, if it were even to 
the treading of the blood of the New Covenant 
under foot, but we put a mask on it. The devil has 
taught men to baptize their sin with a new name, 
lest it should appear Irightful. The murdering of 
the Son of God is done by an assembly of kirk- 
men, under a fair pretence : " We have a law, and by 
that law He ought to die." Idolatry is called humble 
kneeling. Satan is a coiner of false money, and upon 
his reprobate coin he puts the King of heaven's 
stamp. Herod's killing is sold for worshipping; 
killing of the saints is called good service to God. The 



7 6 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



devil comes to none and says, " I am the devil, hear 
my counsel, and I shall draw you to hell." No, he 
is not such a fool; he changes himself into an angel 
of light. Blessed are they who, in the wisdom of 
God's Spirit, can pull the mask off the devil, and sin; 
see the devil to be the devil, and sin to be sin. If 
God's commandment be uppermost, it is no hard 
matter to discern sin. If God command a duty, no 
excuse in the world should cover thy disobedience. 
Alas ! What excuse can men have for staying from 
the kingdom of heaven 1 for refusing of Jesus Christ 
crucified? How can Satan run so far into men's 
hearts, as to make them say in God's face, " Excuse 
me. Lord, I cannot come to heaven ! Excuse me, I 
cannot believe in Christ, because I have other busi- 
ness to do!" What horrible ingratitude is here? God 
offers a heavenly inheritance for a few acres of land, 
but they refuse God, and neglect the offer of Christ. 
Now here is the first excuse. 

" / have bought five yoke of oxeru^'' — O, merciful God ! 
ohall an acre of land, or an ox, be laid in the balance 
with Christ ? Woe be to them. Oh ! how many 
Esaus be there in the world, who sell their heavenly 
inheritance for a mess of pottage. Since the day 
that Adam did eat of the forbidden tree, the taste of 
our souls is so corrupt, that we call sweet sour, and 
put sour for sweet. Jesus Christ is like the white of 
an ^gg^ tasteless in the world's mouth. Give to 
Balaam the King of Moab's gold, and for all his 
broad words, he seeks not another heaven. Let 
Jeroboam keep the kingdom, he cares not for God's 
worship; but for fear the people revolt, he will not 
let them go to Jerusalem to worship, as God had 
commanded, but will have them to worship a god of 
gold nearer hand. And so it is now in our kirk, give 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 77 



men a piece of ground and five yoke of oxen, and 
they will consent to any religion, either Arminianism 
or Popery. Give the soldiers Christ's coat, and 
they seek no more, they will shed His blood, and 
take away His life. A drink of Jacob's well is 
better to the woman of Samaria, than Christ, the 
water of life, or heaven. Her heaven is in the ground^ 
of Jacob's well, " Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, 
and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou 
that living water?" (John iv. 11.) A sow is better to 
the Gadarenes than Jesus Christ. Christ has lost 
courtf in men's hearts, He is worn out of fashion and 
request. The heaven we would have is a heaven we 
would see with our eyes, and catch with our hands. 
What is it, I pray you, that keeps the first rank of 
people from heaven ? Not a kingdom nor a broad 
inheritance, that would seem something ; but a piece 
of ground, one village, a little room that keeps only 
ten oxen! O, Lord God, say they, if Christ could 
be bought for money. But He is worth much money. 
It is a dangerous thing once to let the world into 
the heart : if ye be in love w^ith, and wedded to the 
world, then bid adieu to Christ. The world is like 
a great fire, if a cold man stands at a reasonable dis- 
tance, it warms and comforts him ; but if he go into 
the midst of it, it burns him. Men who have an 
indifferent hold of the world, and stand at a proper 
distance from it, are benefited thereby; but those 
who cast themselves into the midst of it, are thereby 
swallowed up, and for ever lost. Oh ! but poor 
worldlings get but a silly :|: heaven. In Luke xvi. it is 
described, in the person of the rich glutton, who was 
clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptu- 

■ The bottom. + Favour. % Paltry. 



78 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



ously every day. Is that their heaven? meat and 
clothes ! Indeed it is. Servants get no land, that is 
ordained for sons ; but they get a present hire, and 
more they seek not. Poor men, they get five yoke 
of oxen, and a little farm. God knows that is but 
a pitiful portion ! 

He begins again here, ^'I have bought a farm, and 2 
must needs go and see itJ^ — He says not, I must needs 
use it, enjoy it, live upon it, take my pleasure, and 
dehght in it : but " I must needs go and see it." 

Doctrine. All that men have in the world is 
indeed but a sight. Eccles. v. ii, "When goods 
increase, they are increased that eat them, and what 
good is there to the owners thereof, save the beholding 
of them with their eyes?" When the devil would 
have bargained with Christ, He let Him see all the 
kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, in the 
twinkling of an eye ; but more he could not do. He 
could not put Christ in the peaceable possession of 
them. All the gloiy of the world wins never into the 
soul ! It stands at the door, nay, it stands at these 
two utmost windows of the soul : before the two eyes, 
and comes no further. Mark the fool's words, Luke 
xii. 19, "Soul, take thine ease, thou hast much goods 
laid up for many years." Every word here is like the 
fool who speaks them. Blind liar, they are not laid up 
for the soul; for all his full barns and gold could never 
fill the soul. The poor soul did. but look out at the 
two windows — the eyes — and see them. Then, I 
counsel you, since you must go to the market and 
buy, spend not your money on a sight; buy some- 
thing that may be seen, heard, and felt. Buy Jesus 
Christ ; ye may see Him, hear Him, and feel Him ; 
rub souls with Him, and enjoy Him; rest upon Him, 
and make your moan to Him. You can never make 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 79 



the world your own, but you must leave all at the 
mouth of the grave, and creep in like a naked worm 
that leaves a knot of lime at the mouth of their hole 
when they creep into the earth. But you may take 
Christ into the grave with you ! ye may take Him up 
' to heaven with you ! ye may take Him to back you, 
and speak for you in the last day of judgment ! 

^' I have botight a piece of ground^ and I must needs 
go and see it. I have bought a yoke of oxen, and 1 7nust 
go and try theniJ' — But these fools are bad merchants ; 
the first should have seen the ground before he 
bought it ; the last should have tried the oxen before 
he bought them. They first buy, and then try ; but 
Solomon's virtuous woman (Proverbs xxxi. 16), first 
*' considers a field,'' and then " buys it." Thus fools 
first buy their land, and their oxen, and then go to see 
them. . 

Doctrine, The foolish worldlings buy the world / 
before ever they take a good sight of it. The devil 
is a deceitful merchant; he would not give Christ a 
good hearty sight of the kingdoms of the world before 
He bought it ; he showed them to Him in a short 
glance, in the twinkling of an eye. Like a deceitful 
merchant who has no will to open up his wares that 
are adulterate before the sun. For the devil knows 
if a man saw the world, the griefs, the miseries, and 
the wrath of God, that hang over such as give them- 
selves up to the love of the world, he would never 
come speed. But the devil's bargains are blind 
bargains ; he sells by guess, and the fools of the world 
buy by guess and hearsays. So, indeed, he hides the 
end. O that men would look to the inner side of 
ambition, covetousness, and love of the world, they 
would not then forget Abner's word to Joab, 2 Samuel 
ii. 26, " Will it not be bitterness in the latter end?'* 



3o COMMUNION SERMONS, 

The devil causes us to buy sin before we see our 
merchandise. Judas bought an ill conscience before 
he saw the halter. The young man (Prov. vn. 21-27) 
sees the strange woman before he sees her dwelhng- 
place, which is the entry of hell. Foolish souls take , 
on the debt of sin, spend, and take aye on more till 
the term day come, and then God puts an account 
into their hands, that they must read and plead with 
watery eyes. 

" / have married a wife and I therefore ^ cannot 
^^;;^^.''_The third person in the world's trinity is 
inordinate lust. And this, indeed, you may gather 
from the words, is the mightiest god of the three : 
the other two had business which they must do, but 
he who worships the third god, says, "I cannot 
come." The other two, in a pretended humility, 
said, "I pray thee have me excused.'' The third 
absolutely said, " I cannot come," and never a word 
of " I pray thee have me excused.'^ Then,"^ we see 
pleasure is a more dangerous temptation than either 
honour or profit. Beware then of the love of plea- 
sure and inordinate lust. The thing that makes 
men hunt after honour and profit is pleasure, self- 
love, and pleasing of themselves. Men seek profit 
for pleasure ; so that pleasure is the devil's coni- 
mon bait, that he puts upon all his hooks. And 
even in the sin against the Holy Ghost, which to 
nature itself is the most thorny faced sin, yet Satan 
puts upon it the face of pleasure. For in a sort of 
hellish pleasing of themselves, they spit upon the face 
of the well favoured and beautiful Son of God. And 
therefore Solomon, speaking of the adulterous woman, 
(Prov. vii.) uses many forcible words, expressing the 

* Therefore. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 8l 



power of this temptation ; she led the young man as 
an ox to the slaughter, until a dart struck through 
his liver. She wounds many, she slays strong men. 
And if ye ask where pleasure lodges? the same 
Solomon, in the last verse of that chapter will tell 
you; she chambers in the way to hell, in the very 
mouth of the grave, the throat and entry of hell; 
there is pleasure's dwelling house. I may well say 
pleasure is the devil's sportsman, and his broker, 
who sells and buys, and makes the price for him ; 
and goes through the world, and suits souls in mar- 
riage to him. 

This should teach us to strive for mortification ; for 
when the apostle speaks of this sin, the lust of the 
flesh, that which is to be done against it is, that it 
should be taken to the cross and crucified. The eyes, 
the ears, and heart of the old man must be nailed to 
Christ's cross. "We shall never get the victory over 
this temptation except we be dead men to the world ; 
and the nails that pierced Christ go through the 
heart, soul, and body of the man of sin. Offer to 
dead men, kingdoms, jewels, and much gold; it 
were but a ploughing of the sand, they will neither 
see nor hear your offer. Mortified Joseph was cru- 
cified to the lust of the flesh; says he, ''How then can 
I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" 
(Gen. xxxix. 9). He being a dead man to that could 
not get it done. Blessed are they who are weaned 
from the love of the world. In the 

IV. Part of the parable, the servant reports his 
diligence, and it works some effect in the master of 
the house; it angers him, and, as Mathew say^, ''He 
went out and destroyed them, and burnt up their 
city." 

I. The Lord takes a new course, and will not 



82 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



want guests; He will have His table filled. God^s 
Supper will not be lost for want of eaters. God, in 
the beginning of this parable, was as a man : now He 
is turned as a lion. Mercy is His first offer. Come is 
His first word: but when that is refused, there is 
nothing for those but burning and slaying. Those 
men need not blame God for the burning of their 
city, for that is not a stolen dint,* or stroke. We 
may think that the servant said. Dear friends, and 
loving brethren, come and sup with my master; he 
thinks t long for you, he will not eat till you come, 
he loves and delights in your company, ye will be 
heartily welcome and well entertained. No doubt, 
although the servant said this, yet he also said : If 
ye refuse to come, God's wrath will come on you; 
ye shall never taste of His Supper, and ye shall seek 
Him, but ye shall not find Him. 

God steals not a dint, or decreet against such as 
are disobedient to the gospel. They are twice or 
thrice summoned, and the penalty of non-compear- 
ance set down in the Scriptures before ever God be 
angry. The gospel is now crying in the ears of the 
unthankful world, " He that believeth not is con- 
demned already." He that refuses to come in at 
supper-time shall not be let in after supper. O ! but 
the gospel makes many fair offers to sinners. The 
law says, " Do this and live ; " but it speaks but once 
of life : for men having once sinned, the law never 
speaks another word of life. No, though you should 
mourn till your eyes fall out of your head, the law 
cries, *' I will hear of no repentance ; but away to hell 
immediately." 

But the second covenant says, Jeremiah iii. 12-14; 

* A blow given stealttiily* t Wearies for. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 83 



Ezekiel xviii., " For all that has come and gone, if ye 
will turn and repent, sin shall not be your ruin." 
Our Second Husband says, Welcome to Me, although 
ye have played the harlot with many lovers (for love 
is soon entreated), yet return again unto Me, any 
time before supper, before the board be drawn. But 
if ye let the day of the gospel slip, and refuse Christ 
offered, till after supper, the gospel then turns into a 
law, and will hear no more of repentance. And why? 
Because there is not a covenant after the second 
covenant; there is not another gospel after this gospel; 
and there is no other collation after the King's mar- 
riage-supper. No, Christ cannot die again : death and 
He will never meet again; the devil will never get 
another yoking'" with Him upon the cross. 

I will give it to you in a comparison. Our 
heavenly inheritance was forfeit in Adam, and by 
our ovm. voluntary transgression of the law ; but in 
comes Jesus, our elder brother, and makes a charter, 
wherein He serves Himself nearest and lawful heir 
to the inheritance ; whereby He loses the mortgage, 
redeems and makes all free, and puts us in our place 
again. But with this clause in the end of the charter, 
That if we shall sell the land again, and make a new 
mortgagement, and subscribe not the second covenant, 
by embracing the gospel, and coming precisely at 
supper-time, — that is, in the day of the gospel (while 
the word speaks to us, and the sacraments offer 
Christ as the body of the new charter to us) : it shall 
serve only for as much blank paper. For Christ will 
not die the second time; but "the wrath of God 
abides on you, and ye are condemned already.'' And, 
of all condemnations of ungodly men, this shall be the 

* Assault upon. 



84 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



greatest, even that of those who hear the gospel and 
obey it not. For the charter is offered them to 
subscribe, and they refuse to put to their hands. It 
shall be more tolerable for Turks, who never heard tell 
of that covenant. Then beware, ye who have been at 
the Lord's table, that ye start and meet Christ pre- 
cisely at supper-time : for ye need not trouble yourself 
to seek Him in the night. Then, see to it, for if any- 
thing be doom in Scotland in the day of God's account, 
this will be it, '' I waited ]\Iy supper on you till the 
meat was like to be lost, and IMy blood became cold, 
but your pride kept you back till the board was drawn : 
now ye shall not taste of My supper, and well ye 
deserve such disappointment. '^ All the quarrel with us 
will be, we would not agree with Him. The 

2. Eifect that the servant's message makes on the 
goodman of the house is. He commands His servants 
to go out to the high-ways and hedges, and bring in 
**the poor, the blind, the maimed, the halt, and the 
lame." So although all the world should refuse 
mercy, God can make a kirk to Himself of the very 
stones of the field. When the Jews will not come to 
the Lord's Supper, He can fill the table with Gentiles; 
and those that are not a people, such are made a 
people ; those that have not obtained mercy do obtain 
mercy. Ye see the Lord holds up the door of the 
house long : He closes the door on no man. He 
keeps a great open house both to poor and rich ; and 
indeed the poor, the blind, and the halt, will be at 
the board-head,"^ when the children of the kingdom 
shall be shut out, and put to the door. Here, in 
effect, is a description of God's kingdom. They are 
poor ones, and have no riches of their own; but Jesus 

* Head of the tabic. 

r 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 85 



gives them fine gold. They have not a leg to go 
upon; are halt, &:c., but the Lord Jesus bears them 
up. They have not a hand to hold Christ ; but what 
then? Christ takes fast hold of them. They have not 
an eye in their head; but what then? Jesus Christ 
leads them. Now, that is true which Jesus saith; 
he justifies the fact (Luke xix. 10) in going to Zaccheus ; 
**He came to seek and save that which was lost.'' 
Multitudes of miscarried Christians cry, Alas ! I am a 
sinner, and can have no part in Christ ! Fool, if 
thou be a sinner, thou art the man or woman whom 
he is seeking. I pray thee, What is heaven? No- 
thing but a company of broken-hearted sinners ; and 
there is none of all the sons of Adam, who stand 
before the throne and the Lamb, but their faces were 
once blotted. Although they be now kings, they 
were once slaves; there is none born noblemen in 
heaven. O ! this is a great comfort to the sons of 
Adam, that those who are most base in their own 
eyes are greatest in God's eyes. His calling runs 
upon babes, and passes by wise men (Matt. xi. 25). His 
call runs upon publicans and sinners, and passes by 
the self-righteous (Luke xvi.), and upon whores and 
harlots, and passes by the children of the kingdom : 
upon the base and off-scourings of the earth, and 
passes by the disputer of this world. Then, although 
it be ill to be a sinner, yet it is a glorious thing to be 
one of God's sinners, whom the Lord will call. As 
for the wicked and sinners indeed, they are Satan's 
sinners and their own sinners; Christ came not to 
seek them as His sinners. Now, What are those 
sinners in the streets and high-ways? Answer, 
When the Lord calls on us. He finds us not in our 
house, or under the shadow of God Almighty, but 
in the streets, without any shelter against the storm ; 



86 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



or in the fields, like Judah (Jer. ii. 23, 24), who is 
compared to " a swift dromedary traversing her ways." 
"A wild ass used to the Avilderness, snuffeth up the 
wind at her pleasure." We are " dead in trespasses 
and sins — and without God in the world " (Eph. ii. t, 
12). " We are cast out in the open field, dying in our 
own blood, and no eye to pity us" (Ezek. xvi.) Now, 
those who are beggars in the streets, who never dream 
that the king will send for them, may make the invita- 
tion welcome when it comes. And woe be to them 
who think we lay money upon heaven, and mortgage 
grace, if not to buy it at full price ; for when Christ 
comes to us, we can see as** much as blind men, catch as 
much as maimed men, and run as swift as halting men. 
^' And the servant said, It is done, Lord, as thou hast 
cofnmanded, a7id yet there is room,^^ — There is here 
never a word of buying of land, trying of oxen, and 
marrying of wives, but immediate obedience ; at the 
first word they come to the King's Supper. We see 
that where God's Spirit accompanies the word, the 
invited cannot but come to the Lord's Supper. In 
the next verse, he gives direction to his servant to 
compel them to come in ; wherein, ye see, there is 
a sort of divine violence used in the efi*ectual calling 
of God's children. What a long dispute is there 
between Him and the woman of Samaria. She gives 
the Lord two or three taunts, yet He will not want 
her nor leave her, till He say to her soul, " I that 
speak unto thee am He." And as Isaac said to Esau, 
*^I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed;" so 
may the Lord say to this poor land, Blind, lame, halt, 
and maimed, I have called thee, and thou shalt be 
Mine ; I have taken thee, and thou shalt be taken. 

No more than. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 87 



Christ will lay many oars in the water before He 
want His own : yea, although one of the elect should 
run to hell, yet He will follow them. And O ! but 
Christ be swift in following those whom He hath 
chosen. The way to heaven is an unknown way 
to sinners; but behold the Lord teaches them 
(Psalm XXV. 9). And when they are taught, they dare 
not go alone, because of the enemies in the way. 
Then that same Psalm says, verse 8, '^ The Lord leads 
sinners in the way." Ay, but sinners will not be led, 
because they do not like the way well : then ye shall 
find the Father and the son drawing and compelling 
them, Cant. i. 2 ; John vi. 44. And if drawing will not 
do the turn, ye shall find bearing and carrying in the 
Lord's bosom (Isa. xl. 11) and upon His shoulders 
(Luke XV. 5), and upon His heart (Cant. viii. 6). 

What is the reason that Jesus will not want any of 
His own ? I answer : There be three causes of this : 

I. That day that the Lord Jesus died for the elect. 
He bought them with His heart's blood ; with His soul 
he prized 'them, and thought them worthy of His life. 
Now, the Lord Jesus is God unchangeable : ye must 
not think that God buys any of the elect with His 
blood, and then begins to repent of the bargain. 
2. Jesus is Almighty. Having once comprized * 
the elect as His own, who can free comprizement ? 
Christ has law on His side, and power to execute the 
law; then He cannot want His own. 3. The Father 
has given the elect to the Son, and He must render an 
account of them to the Father, man by man. 

The last thing to be considered is, the Lord's 
sentence against the recusants — " None of those men 
who were bidden shall take of my Snpper,^^ — This is a 

Laid hold of. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



hard word ; for in effect it is, They shall never have 
part in my Christ, shall never see my face. So now 
those men know not what God is doing, they are home 
at their farm, their oxen, and their new married wife, 
thinking no such thing, when God is concluding a 
black process against them. Eli knew little what the 
Lord was Hoing, when He was leading a black process 
against Him and His house (i Sam. iii. 14). And 
Ahab knows little what God is doing, when He is 
going do^\Tl to take possession of Naboth's vineyard, 
when the Lord, in the upper court, is giving out a 
doleful decreet against him. Elihu says of the wicked, 
''They cry not when He (God) bindeth them" (Job 
xxxvi.. 13). We may be laughing, sporting, and 
making merry upon earth, while there is a black 
process going on against us in heaven. The destroy- 
ing angel has gotten a commission to go forth and 
destroy : happy are they who can see how their process 
goes forward in heaven. Ye should see and try how 
it goes betwixt God and your souls. I pray you, 
beloved, when ye are toiling at your farms, trafficking, 
or sporting, be asking at God, Lord, how shall it go 
with me at the last judgment ? If ye ask at me, How 
shall we know that, for that is a secret ? Indeed, ye 
must go to my Lord Secretary, Jesus Christ, and pray 
Him to tell you, and write from heaven to you how 
your case thrives. Say, Lord Jesus, Is there any hope 
of my action ? Many who are careful of their estate 
on earth, are often at their advocate ; they pray him, 
they write, and send friends to him. Why then should 
ye not do the same with Christ ? Amen. 



SERMON V.''^* 

Where fote^ seeing zue also are compassed about tvith so great a 
cloud of witnesses^ let us lay aside every weight, and the sm 
which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the 
race that is set before us, cr-v. — Heb. xii. I, 2, 3, 4, 5* 

BELOVED in Christ, here there is, i. A conclu- 
sion drawn from the doctrine of the former 
chapter, " Let us run our race'' 2. A reason. Many 
have gone before us, a whole cloud; it is a fair 
market-gate, a high street to heaven. 3. The way 
how we may come good speed in our race, get the 
gold, and w^in the bell, is set down in two things, viz. : 

I. What we must quit for the gold. a. All weights 
and clogs of this clay world that retard us in our 
journey, and make our race toilsome. b. Sin that 
hangs fast upon us, and beguiles us. 

II. What shall we do? What rule shall we follow? 
W^hat airth shall we look to ? 

The Apostle says. Know ye not how they look who 
run a race ? They look not over their shoulder, but 
ever straight before them, towards the end of their 
race. Look ye to Jesus in the end of your way. 
Now, the Apostle seems to go a little off the text : 
he sees a friend, even Jesus, and he cannot pass by 

* Preached at a Preparation for the Communion, at Kirkcud- 
bright, in the year 1634. 



90 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Him, but must speak a word of Him. In your race 
I shall let you see two things in Jesus. 

1. Efficacy and power. He is the captain and 
leader of your souls in the course of faith, and He 
will not tire : when He begins. He will also crown 
and perfect your faith. 

2. I will let you see another thing in Jesus : A 
good example. How wan He ? His heart longed to 
be at the gold, as yours should do. He saw the glory 
in the end of His way. He suffered both pain and 
shame, and so was seen on it : and He is now set 
down on the throne of God. Now then, the Apostle, 
still dwelling on Christ (for he cannot win off Him) 
gives them a new exhortation to hold on ; in which 
there is included the following things : — 

I. Consider what that lovely person suffered of all 
men — how they gave Him the lie, and spake against 
Him. 2. Consider how little ye have suffered ; ye 
have not yet resisted, and striven unto blood, as 
Christ did. 3. He gives a reason why they should 
do so ; for fear they give over, faint, and fall a swoon. 
Having in chapter xi. spoken of the fathers who wan 
to heaven, through patient suffering, he compares 
them (v. I.) to the cloud that led the Israelites, by 
day, through the wilderness. He sets the example 
of those before them to encourage them. 

We see the way to heaven is now a high market 
gate, and paved by hundreds and thousands who 
have gone before us; and we should follow after. 
Are ye wanting a settled house and dwelling in the 
world? Then set forward, look for a city above. 
Indeed, says Abraham, I shall be witness of that, that 
ye shall receive the recompense of reward. Will ye 
rather suffer affliction with the people of God than 
enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season? Moses says, 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 91 



I shall be witness then, that ye shall win home safe 
and sound. In the way ye may see a whole cloud of 
them as witnesses to lead you through the wilderness. 
Where away* can ye go, or what can befal you in 
your journey to glory, but in which the Lord's saints 
have gone before you? Are ye your alone, t and 
seeking God amongst many who live as they list? 
So was Noah, a walker with God, when all flesh 
had corrupted their ways. Let it be true ye have 
all taken from you goods, children, and health. So 
was Job handled ! So the saints have set up steps, 
and way-marks, at every turn in your way ; and cry. 
Ride about. And howbeit now, many fools think 
to win through at the nearest, yet they win not, but 
stick there. The saints' going before, in the way, 
is a great benefit to us ; their falls, and the ill steps 
that cumbered them, ye must beware of. Ye must 
hold off adultery, for David stuck in that mire. Hold 
off drunkenness, for Noah and Lot wet their feet in 
that dub. Beware of mocking and persecuting the 
saints, for Paul's ship had almost sunk in that quick- 
sand. See these dead carcases lying on the road : 
Judas, Demas, Hymeneus, and Philetus, brake their 
necks, by attempting to go to Canaan and falling 
off again. 

Make this use of holy men's lives, here con- 
demned, who followed the devil, but were re- 
covered again. Beware of those temptations and 
sins which so easily beset them. Here is a cloud 
of witnesses; the world and the fashions thereof, 
they did not follow. (Rom. xii. 2) "Be not conformed 
to this world," and the guises | thereof; and yet 
ye can justify yourselves in the daily transgression 

* To what country. + Solitary. % Fashions. 



g 2 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



of this divine prohibition. Wherefore is vanity m 
marriages and banquets? "It is the fashion," say 
they. Proud Scotland ! poor Scotland ! near cut out 
to thy skin; it is worm-eaten. Wherefore is such 
vanity in apparel? so that women are become m- 
decent, and men like monsters. Men are takmg 
whole baronies of land on their backs? "It's the 
fashion," say they. O! proud and poor Scotland; 
men are cut out to their skin, and women want not 
vanity enough; but are not cut to the bone. And 
wherefore comes swearing, and drinking, see ye not? 
No otherAvise than from the fashion. "It is the 
fashion," say they : but if ye will follow such a cloud 
of fashionable witnesses, let me conclude ye wiU go 
to hell also ; for I can assure you that is the fashion. 
Ye may keep that excuse till the day of judgment ; 
and when God asks what ye have done, and wherefore 
ye did so; say ye, "Lord, for nothing but the 
fashion," and see how ye will win off. 

" Let us run the race.''— But how shall we run? So 
run that ye may obtain. Many run upon hope of 
heaven, and get hell in the end. But hear what the 
Spirit of God says. Lay aside every weight; every 
clog. What is the weight? The world, the love 
of riches, honour, and lusts. He speaks to us as 
to men having their back burden of clay, or clogged 
with heavy lumps of earth, and great tatters and 
bunches of the world's glory. Nay, a number of 
devils, pride, lust, and covetousness, hang upon us. 
Give them a shake, says he ; down with them. Let 
the ground bear all. 

How hardly do cunning*- men enter into the king- 



* Clever. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



93 



dom of heaven ! Methinks I see three sorts of men 
beguiled in their race to glory. 

1. Some go not a step at all in the way to heaven ; 
for, going too near the hedge, they get a thorn in 
their foot, which swells it so that they must sit down, 
and lay it on their knee : and they sit there, and 
never make any further attempt towards heaven, till 
night come, and there they lie. One of those says 
(Job xxi. 15), "What is the Almighty, that we should 
serve Him? and what profit should we have, if we pray 
unto Him?'' They say in plain terms, God is but a 
poor Master to follow; it's long ere he be rich who 
follows Him; therefore w^e will have none of Him. 
Luke xiv. 19, ^^One said, I have bought five yoke of 
oxen, and I go to prove them, I pray thee have me 
excused," &c. " And the Pharisees who heard these 
things mocked at Him." 

2. Another sort run a start after Christ for a time, 
as Judas, who in men's eyes followed him, till the 
devil meets him in the race, casts down a purse, and 
breaks his leg ; and syne went he over the brae. In 
John vi. ye see a number following Christ for the 
loaves. And Demas galloped awhile after Paul and 
the gospel, but he thought it a hungry trade; and 
the world crossed his road, and after it he went. I 
say. The world, like a fair strumpet in her silks and 
velvets, came in his way, and gave him a kiss, and he 
ran to the gate,"^ saying. Sorrow have my part of the 
gospel and Paul, any more ! So Paul says (2 Tim. 
iv. 10), "Demas hath forsaken me, and has embraced 
this present world." But 

3. Another sort are those who have some more 
love to the race, and yet they cannot want the world. 

* The road. 



94 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Like the young man (Matt. xix. 21, 22) who came 
to Christ and said, he had kept the commandments 
from his youth; when Christ bade him sell all that 
he had, and give his goods to the poor, and come 
and follow Him, he went away with his heart in his 
hose, looking as if his nose were bleeding, for he had 
great possessions. So there are a number who would 
climb up the mountain to heaven, with thousands by 
the year, and with baronies, and a great bunch of 
clay, bound hard and fast upon the neck of their 
souls : and they think to hold foot with Christ, ride 
as hard as He pleases, and twenty stone weight of 
clay upon their soul ! But they will be all mistaken ; 
they will burst and die by the way ; and shall never 
win to the top of the hill. Ask at them how they 
will win up to heaven, with their lusts upon their 
backs ; they will say, " God will draw us. He will 
help and bear us." Indeed God makes His own 
people ride in chariots with Himself, and draws them 
(Cant. i. 2). But will ye make Christ a pack-horse 
to carry your clay, and your lusts? How long is it 
since He has carried our pack-mantle ! Believe me, 
he is no cadger-horse. Demas and Judas, and the 
like, would have ridden after Christ, with all their 
bags of clay ; but ken ye what Christ did with them ? 
He threw them and their clay off at the broadside, 
and left them lying there, and posted away. 

Qiiestio7i. What then shall we do to be quit of 
these weights ? In answer, 

I. Direction. The world is a foul way, like deep- 
watery new-tilled ground, where pound weights hang 
to every heel of the traveller, and retard him ; and as 
he shakes off one, another comes on, so that he can- 
not go fast on his way. Now the affections are the 
feet of the soul; take heed to your feet, and come 



COMMUXIOX SERMONS. 



95 



off the deep-wet land. Use the world as if ye used 
it not. There is a dry way to heaven ; hold ye off 
the deep way, and be content with food and raiment. 
Go ye the way that Christ and the saints went before 
you ; who scarce ever wet their feet. Indeed Jesus 
was never wet-shod in the world; He had so good 
mind of His errand, and His home, that the world 
got no room in His heart. They who will not keep 
this clean dry causeway, it is no marvel to see them 
stick in the miry world, be drowned, and never \vin 
home. It is with many, as was said (Hos. ii. 2), 
Their adulteries lie between their breasts ; the world 
in a great bunch lies betwixt their breasts all night. 
Is it any wonder to see such heavy-headed mardels,'^ 
get the mellf in this race? like stiff horses, unmeet 
for a journey. And how can they once give a trot? 
Nay, they but walk in a circle. The 

2. Direction. Satan and the world will play you 
foul play, and cast their feet before you, and give you 
a fall. But care not for that, rise again. But, I pray 
you, beware of sore falls, or sins against the conscience, 
light, and love. For the conscience is like an earthen 
vessel if ye break it, ye will not mend it again. Some, 
in their race, give their conscience such a backstroke, 
that they break their legs, and are never meet for the 
race again. But, whatever ye do, keep the conscience 
whole. 

3. Directio7i. Cast off all things that make you 
heavy : make yourself light, that ye may be nimble, 
skip, and spur away. Run, run, look not behind you, 
remember Lot's wife. Although ye should be like to 



* Unwieldy lumps ; either from the French for a kerb-stone, 
or from the GaeHc, '^mairdih" 
t Maul; not the prize. 



ge COMMUNION SERMONS. 



burst, tarry not. Ye will mend of a sweat, and a heat. 
God has a napkin to rub the sweat of you, and He has 
a chair and a cushion for you, against the race be 
ended, and He will lay your head in His bosom. Take 
a little pains in the day, for I promise you, ye shall 
get rest at even. 

" Cast off the sin that doth so easily beset tis f or goes 
round about 7is, — This is the body of sin that re- 
mains in our nature; he speaks of it, as if one had 
us clasped in his arms. For original sin has us 
in fetters as captives; it is a thing we cannot win 
from, go where we please. It is like a ghost, ever 
in our eye : behind us, pulling us back ; before us, 
standing in our way; at our right hand, hindering 
us to hear, pray, believe, repent, hope. It is like the 
wind in our face, or in the face of a weak traveller, 
that blows him some steps back, where he goes one 
forward. It is as a man going round about us. It is 
in the mind, darkening the judgment ; in the will, 
thrawing it in the contrary way. God bids us walk in 
the lowest room, down in the affections : but we do 
the contrary. And this sin, as weedbind goes about 
a tree, wraps about us in every good way. It is a ser- 
pent biting our heel, and cries, A lion in the way. 
When God draws, sin holds under, at meat, drink, and 
sleep. It is a joker;* it promises us much, but gives 
us the wind, and yet we beHeve it. 

But here a question may be asked. How does the 
Apostle bid us shake off this sin, which dwells in us so 
long as we live ? it is death and the kirkyard that makes 
us quit of this sin : How is it then that we can shake 
it off? 

Answer first. The dominion of it we break by 

* A mocker. 



COMMUXIOS SERMONS. 



97 



grace. Every woe heart * we have, for this indwelling 
sin, breaks a bone of old Adam, gives his back a crack, 
and makes him cry. As we repent, and advance in 
holiness, we break a leg, or an arm of this sin ; but for 
the root of it, God only, in death, can pluck it out. 
Yet we must be hacking, and cutting the branches, and 
roots of it, else we cannot make progress in our race. 
We must not take this defiling sin forward with us in 
our race. AVe must leave it when we start, and deliver I 
it over to Christ, that He may put it on His cross, and / 
nail it to His gallows. 

Answer second. He speaks of sin, as of a thing 
going about us, like a stone wall, in our very way to 
heaven. Till, by regeneration, Christ make a gap in the 
wall, that we may pass over, there is no possibility of 
going one foot. And even when the wall is broken, we 
shall see this sin hanging on our legs and arms. This 
sin keeps a lodge by the gate for Satan, and is a common 
robber, who slays many by the way. i. Some it tricks 
out of the way, and lays asleep in security; like a 
drunken traveller, who sleeps in a moor, till the sun 
be down, then he awakes from his sleep and cries. 
2. It blinds some, as Paul, while a Pharisee, and 
Papists, and chases them a wrong way (to hell instead 
of heaven), when they make a fashion of repentance 
to slay their sins; and go again to their old pass. 
Such are those who, with willingness, walk softly, and 
go to sin again. Now, he sets down the exhortation, 
" Let us run the race." This is more than to walk 
and step at our own leisure. Running shews there 
is a set time, which will go away, a short day ; and 
that the way is long, and we have much to do to get 
sin slain. And therefore, we must to the way with 

■ Every sore heart. 
G 



98 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



speed, and run fast. In Matt. xi. 12, The kingdom 
of heaven is said to be taken with violence. Luke 
xiii. 24, " Strive to enter in." The word is, fight and 
throng in by force. When God by faith lets a man 
see heaven, he resolves that in he must be, come 
what will. Phil. iii. 13, 14, '^Reaching forth unto 
those things that are before, I press forward toward 
the mark." The word is, *'I follow after," I reach 
out my hand. The apostle means he ran that so 
his head and breast pressed forward before his feet, 
and his two arms reached out to catch hold of 
Christ. To speak so, he chases Christ and heaven, 
and they seem to flee from him, and he follows : 
so should we do. Then chase on ; the prize seems 
to flee from us ; but it cannot flee further than to 
heaven^s gates, there we will get a hold of it. 

But how will they do who say, " Hooly* and fair 
comes home against even?" And what needs all 
this din ; all these prayers, and these flockings to 
communions? I hope to be in heaven as soon as 
the best of you. Answer, Beguile not yourselves, 
Loiterers, and drowsy persons, who go not one mile 
of twenty in a year ; such as walk in a circle round 
about from pride, to lust ; from lust to drunkenness ; 
from that to covetousness ; and from that to pride 
again; like as if they were in a fairies' dance, and 
run not at all. Can men come to heaven lying on 
their back? "The good lucky old religion made 
a sonsy world," say they. Yes, they use religion 
like a post-horse ; as one wears out of fashion, they 
take another. 

Heaven must be taken by violence. He speaks 
of heaven as of a fortified place, that must be forced 

Cautious and soft. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 99 



by fire and sword, ere they render it up. We are 
like drunken travellers, cast twenty miles behind ; 
sometimes with lust, and sometimes with pride; and 
such companions cannot be put to the gate. They 
have a friend to Satan's messengers within; and 
when they knock, he cries. Coming, Master. Men 
have gotten a gate of their own (''like neighbour" 
— another, " the good old use and w^ont,") to walk as 
they please; and they are no gluttons of religion, 
neither of the word, nor communions. Religion, to 
them, is a good custom of going to the kirk. 

" The race set before us'' — This race is, by our Lord, 
set before us in His word; for men set the way to 
hell before themselves. God's word sets hell before 
no man as a way that He allows of. He sets not 
that before us, but behind our back. But men turn 
their face to hell, and not to heaven. Know, there- 
fore, that this is a race of God's choosing, and not of 
our own; and the ill roads, the deep waters, the 
sharp showers, and the bitter, violent winds that 
are in our face, are of God's disposing. We wall not 
get a better road, than our Lord allows us. He has 
called us to suffering, and not a stone is in our way 
by chance ; but by His wise providence, all the waters 
are told; all the streams, the storms, and stones, 
that are in our way are written in His book. Our 
wanderings are numbered. It is our comfort that 
our Lord is looking on. God is like the nobleman 
who lays the cup in pawn ; and appoints the bounds. 
He sets down the race in His word, with all the way- 
marks, and sets His Son at the end of the Avay, hold- 
ing up in His hand the Crown of glory, and crying to 
the nmners, To the gate with speed ! See the prize. 
Win, and have it. As in a horse race, many are gallop- 
ing and posting from one sin to another till they be at 



lOo COMMUNION SERMONS. 



hell ! and Satan, out of his own stables, furnishes them 
with fresh horses; and aye as one tires, immediately 
another is brought ! But not a step should we go, but 
as God has directed us. The kirk does not set this 
race before us : neither may king or kirk change our 
King Jesus' way, to cast us about dykes, into Rome's 
foot roads, and Antichrist's by-ways. Scotland's race is 
set down, Jer. viii. 6, "Every one turned to his course, 
as the horse rusheth in to the battle." The com- 
monality are galloping on covetousness, the nobles on 
oppression, and the whole land on strange apparel; and 
some of all ranks in the three kingdoms are posting to 
hell on idolatry and masses. 

When God's temple was last measured in this land, 
much was taken from Him. Either we must change 
our course, or look (i.) to lose the prize; or (2.) to want 
Christ's company and convoy; or (3.) to get leave to 
go all upon horseback in an ill course with patience. 
There is a necessity for hope and patience to wait on; 
because, at the place where they start, men see not the 
gold in the race : but must run the first mile ; and not 
only the first, but to the end, before they sit down. 
He that falls back, within his own length of the score, 
or draws his bridle and sets up within a quarter of a 
mile, loses the race. We see not the prize here, 
neither is it before our senses, nor hard by our hand, 
but it is out of sight ; we have nothing but God's pro- 
mise for it, and some small arles."^ Behold, " The hus- 
bandmen waiteth for the ^Drecious fruit of the earth." 
We must wait on, winter, spring, and summer, till 
harvest come; for howbeit ill weather, and a rainy 
season come, yet the husbandman folds not his hands, 
nor lays up.the plough by the walls; and with patience 

* Earnest. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, loi 



works for the harvest ; for he knows God may, and 
will send a good and full crop. And what of a winter 
storm ! What albeit they mock and persecute us, and 
Satan send out his dogs to bark at us, to make us take 
a house over our heads ? Let us be going forward ; 
it will blow up fair again. Read Luke xxi. 19, '^In 
patience possess ye your souls ; " verse 28, " Lift up 
your heads ; for the day of your redemption draweth 
nigh.'^ This condemns such as Avill not run one foot in 
this race, except the gold be in their hand, and they 
will have God paying interest, and giving wages in 
hand. But faith trusts God, and if ye get but one kiss 
of Him in this life, or the welcome of His bowels, with 
a sweet smile, and embrace in His arms, it is worth all 
ye can suffer for Him in this life. Got not Abraham 
a promise of the land of Canaan, and yet got it not in 
this life, but dwelt in tents, and hung by hope ! x\y, 
ye will not play, except God give you heaven in your 
hand ; as if God were a child, to give you the garland, 
ere the race be run. No, God's on-waiters come to 
honour in God's court ; the more the good servant is 
faithful he has the more to crave. He who takes all at 
once, and forenails'' all before the term, will be a poor 
man. We, like fools, would forenail our heaven ; but 
it is best that God keeps all until the term day; 
for he is a rich servant who, in the end, has his 
heaven to crave. No marvel then, that patience be 
needful. Satan runs up and down like a great war- 
ship, with twenty pieces of ordnance, shooting at 
all who are sailing for Canaan ; and roaring out, 
Surrender. But give not up ; suffer, suffer, take a 
shot, hold out Christ's white flag ; Christ will mend 
the gap that Satan's bullet has made. We fear ill 

Spends before he gets the money. 



I02 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



upon the land, for the abuse of the gospel; and 
indeed that there will be an onset. Have patience and 
ye will win the field. 

^'Looking to yesusP — Well kend the Apostle the 
de\il would come our gate in his holiday clothes, 
with an ^^411 these will I give thee." And when we 
are running, he will cry. Here away ! But, said the 
Apostle, Give him not one look, although he should 
burst. What have ye to do with him? *' Look to 
Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Look to 
your forerunner, and follow Him in the race. 

Then in this our following, we must look how 
Jesus ran. We must obsei-ve all the properties of his 
running, and do just as He did. i. He yoked** to the 
Jews, early in the morning, and was obedient to the 
law in the cradle. At twelve years of age He disputed 
with the doctors in the temple ; He was still about His 
Father's business, late and early. Yea, even upon the 
cross He was running. So run, young men, in your 
youth ; start to the gate, break off, and run to your 
dying day; halve not your lives. If ye have lost time, 
and were too long in beginning, be like a man far 
behind, when he looks to the sun and sees it low, and 
remembers he has far to go ; he sets the spurs to the 
horse. So rouse up your lazy souls and post. Post, 
post, heaven is waiting for you. A special virtue, or 
property, in a runner, is to look even before him : for 
il ye look over your shoulder, ye may possibly not 
break your neck, but ye will certainly miss a stride. 
Il ye look at meadows, houses, and worldly pleasures 
by the way, ye will possibly fall and break your toes ; 
therefore look aye home, straight out before you. 
Give not the world a look for the world. But very 

Set upon them. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 103 



often, after we have taken our leave of the world, and 
of sin, we have a strong inclination to be back again. 
While taking a hearty look of the world, a stone may 
take a man's foot in his journey, and break his leg. 

2. Christ, in His race, got many lets, the devil 
came in with, ^'All these things will I give thee," to 
turn Him into His Inn, and to lay Him over the board.* 
The world set on Him ; but they could not all make 
honest Jesus come one foot out of the road. Keep 
aye the high-way. Smart men will not come under 
trysting with juggling knaves, nor subscribe any writs, 
for fear they bring them under a sum, and then take 
their lands from them. Never, never come in com- 
muning with Satan and sin. Some fools give the 
devil writs, and subscribe a submission to the world 
and sin, and take the devil and their own hearts to 
be overseers. Beware of that work. Christ would 
have nothing to do with the world, in His journey. 
When they offered to make Him a king. He refused, 
and ran to the mountain, and there He prayed (John 
vi. 15). He took but His meat of it, and all He had 
was borrowed. He looked blunt-like on it ; like a man 
who would fain have been away ; and so was seen on 
it. We should be like some old men that want 
children, who quit all to their friends, and get a- 
bond, for meat and clothing, all their days. Our 
love and affection should quit the world, and seek 
a bond of our Lord, for food and raiment, all our 
days, and be content therewith. 

3. So run as Christ ; He ran so as He left nothing 
undone. ^* Father, I have finished the work that Thou 
gavest Me to do " (John xvii). See that ye have all 
ended against night, that ye may say as Paul said 

* The table. 



104 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



(2 Tim. iv. 7), '^ I have fought the good fight, I have 
finished my course, I have kept the faith." There 
are many who run as Paul, when a Pharisee, ran; 
but they know not where-away. Many forget their 
conscience by the gate,* as a drunken man forgets 
his sword at the Inn in which he lodged. Take 
all with you, your conscience, and faith. They who 
go to sea take all with them : for when the wind and 
tide has put them off land, they will not win back 
again, to fetch any thing they have left behind. 

'^ But zu hat good will our looki?ig to Jesus do lis V^ — 
Very much, He is the Captain of our salvation, '^ the 
author and finisher of our faith.'' For Christ is all. 
He draws with His Spirit, and He leads us through 
the mire, and goes before us. And we have this 
advantage, when we faint. He looks back over His 
shoulder with a smile, takes us by the hand, and says 
(Luke xii. 32), " Fear not, little flock,'' &c. (John xvi.). 
*^ Yet a little while, and I am with you." Even as a 
loving guide says to the tired man, *' We have but a 
little water or two to pass through : and see there is 
but yonder hill betwixt us and the town, ye are near the 
city." He will see you again, for He is a Captain 
indeed. In taking in a town, the soldiers will ven- 
ture sometimes to scale the wall where the captain 
is ; but it is not so here. Jesus Himself took the 
castle of heaven first : it cost Him blood to win in 
and break up the doors. Now He stands in the 
entry, and cries. Come in, I have broken up the gate, 
I have win the city ; be not afraid, I shall warrant 
you. Therefore (Heb. vi. 10) He is called a fore- 
runner. He went before to open the doors, and the 
park-dykes,t and take the stones out of the way, and 

■ The road. f The gates of the park. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 105 



says, Step fonvard, my brethren, be not frighted. So 
then, when we run, we are not to lean to our own 
strength, for fear we get a fall. He who thinks he 
has little need of Christ's help is ready to fall. He 
who knows not his own weakness fears not ; and he 
who knows not his own heart has good cause to fear 
he may get a fall, and dash out all his brains." 

" The finisher of our faiths — We will not have 
Jesus pulling us to the gate, and leaving us there. 
No (i Cor. i. 8), " Who shall also confirm you to the 
end." It^ts-a^work of Christ as Mediator, and written 
in the commission His Father gave Him, that He 
should lose none, but raise him up at at the last day 
(John vi. 39.) In Eph. v. 27, He presenteth His 
church to Himself, a glorious church, not having spot 
or wrinkle. He shall get His bride, the church, all 
arrayed in His Father's clothes, in at heaven's gate, 
and slip her in His Father's hand, and say, Father, 
there her now ! I have done my part ; I have not 
laboured in vain. Let them be confounded who 
take this glory from Jesus, and give it over to that 
weather-cock, free will. For, here an argument that 
hell will not answer. The Father promised Christ a 
seed (Isaiah liii. 10). And a willing people (Psalm ex. 3). 
And the ends of the earth (Psalm ii. 8) to serve Him 
as a reward of His sufferings. Now, shall God crack 
His credit to His Son, and shall Christ do His work 
and get the wind for His pains, except free will say, 
amen? This were a bairn's bargain. No, it is a part 
of Christ's wages, that men's free will shall come with 
cap in hand, and bow before Him. He shall have a 
willing people. 

We must digress a little, and speak of Christ's race. 
Observe, this is the apostle's manner, Christ comes in 
his way, and he cannot pass by Him : but he must 



lo6 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



stand still and speak a word with Him, and give Him 
a kiss by the way. (Col. i. 14), "In whom we have 
redemption," &c. And there, ere he go further, he 
must run out upon Christ, and His nature, and offices. 
Verse 15, "Who is the image of the invisible God, 
the first-bom of every creature." See Rev. i., " Grace 
be to you, and peace from Jesus." Then he runs 
out, who is the " faithful witness, the first begotten of 
the dead," &c. 

Learn a lesson. When Jesus comes in your mind, 
leave your way, and go and speak with Him a while, 
and go not soon from Him. Is He come ? I^et Him 
not go without a kiss. Oh ! and alas ! we oft times 
let Him go as He comes. But why do His friends 
commend Him so much? Even that you and He 
may fall in love together. 

" Who for the joy that was set before himr — He 
sets down a special virtue in Christ's running : who, 
for the eye-look* to joy, "endured the cross, and 
despised the shame." Here is a question, What an 
eye-look to joy was this, that Christ had? What 
made Him run, seeing heaven was in His bosom? 
What needed He rejoice to be at home ? 

Answer, As He was God, nothing could be added 
to His joy. Yet, howbeit He carried the God-head 
about with Him, the sight and sense of the God-head 
was covered in the days of Christ's humiliation : there 
was a bar and a lock put on the God-head, that He 
saw not as He now seeth. In that. He took the pil- 
grim's lot with us, and was a traveller in respect of 
sense and clear light ; — for. He as man was ignorant of 
some things then, as of the day of judgment, and 



Regard to. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



107 



fruit on the fig-tree. He knew He would be nearer 
God ; the God-head stood aloof from Him then. 

2. The joy before Him was, the contentment He 
would have in His new Bride; the joy that He had 
won through hell, and gotten His errand. Sad and 
heavy would His heart have been, to have missed us : 
He was glad of the hire His Father had promised 
Him. It is natural for a man to rejoice when he 
gets the fruit of his labours : and there is thanksgiving, 
and joy in heaven for the conversion of sinners. And 
He gives thanks far more when they are redeemed 
fully (Heb. xii. 12). In the midst of the congregation, 
He sings praise to God His Father, for the children 
He had given Him; but more especially when He 
shall have ended all, and got the goods in His hand, 
that He bought so dear. He shall then sing for joy ; 
and when Christ sings for thy redemption, and giveth 
thanks, thou hast far more cause to sing than He. 

3. The joy set before Him was the glory to be 
manifested in Him, which He prays for (John xvii. 5) 
which *'He had with the Father before the world 
was:" that joy that His Father will welcome Him 
with and (to speak wdth reverence) clap His head for 
His pains. As He rejoiced from all eternity with His 
Father (Prov. viii. 31), and was His Father's delight: 
so now He shall rejoice with His Father, He and He 
together in redeemed mankind. And the manhood 
with all His members, and the angels (for they rejoice 
at the conversion of sinners) shall rejoice with Him 
to see His body fulfilled, and to have them all under 
His wings. 

4. Consider the sadness Jesus had, and the tears 
He shed in the days of His flesh; but that His Father 
dried, and wiped the blood and sweat off His face, 
and set Him in a place, where He should shed tears, 



lo8 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



and die no more. So do as Jesus did. And why ? 
Because never man endured out his longsome race 
but He who got a sight of heaven. See wherefore 
Abraham dwelt in tents, and Moses (Heb. xi.) 
'' choosed rather to suffer affliction with the people of 
God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin." He saw a 
sight that every one cannot see. Ye know a man 
who has been seven years away from his wife and 
' children, coming home again and seeing the smoke of 
his ov;n house, his heart rises a foot higher than it 
was before. Would ye run? Get a sight of the 
city. Get Christ's prospect, to see the joy set before 
you. Get the earnest of the inheritance, and ye will 
never rue the bargain. Whosoever has a mind for 
heaven, runs a while in blind zeal, until they 
sweat, and then grow lame, like a horse that is ill 
taken care of, after hard riding ; so are those who never 
saw heaven afar off by faith. But a sight of the gold 
makes the runner spring and run. O what wrought 
this joy that was set before Him ! It made Him endure 
the cross; His Father laid the cross on His back, and 
He carried it thirty-three years, and never gave it a 
shake to put it off. Oh, what crosses ! Never man 
was handled as He was; for some are under some 
crosses, and free of others. When Satan and men 
struck Job, the Lord blessed him and upheld him : 
But on Jesus, all at once fell God, man, devils, law, 
justice, sin, and the curse ! Ye cannot tell me what 
comfort Christ had, when He cried, " My God, my 
God!" That was a sore thraw for His back. O! the 
fire was hot then. But, when Christ was in His prison, 
in this dark night, there was a hole to let Him see day. 
He had His eye by faith upon the hope of the joy of 
the fair day before Him. He got a foul black day, all 
clouds of darkness about Him ; but He said within 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



109 



Himself, I will get my fair day when all this ill weather 
is away. 

Now let me speak to a heavy heart ; that looks for 
a shower upon this land. And indeed it is black in 
the west; the clouds are gathering; the shower is 
coming. Take a house in time, yet fear not, a shower 
will not melt you, and Christ has a fire in His Father's 
house to dry your clothes. O ! but he who has faith 
to look up through yonder blue sky to see the throne 
of God and the Lamb, and to wait for the rending of 
the heavens, when Christ shall get through His fair 
head, with a great crown of gold upon it ; I say, he 
who gets faith to see, and wait for these, will give a 
leap, and a skip in his journey. Let us suppose Christ 
were bodily upon the earth, and a water betwixt you 
and Him : yea, a lake of fire betwixt you and Him ; I 
think ye would venture to be at Him. Now set out 
in your journey, set down your feet, and be not be- 
guiled with the devil's apples, which he casts down in 
your gate. Christ, in the end of the journey, holds 
out His long arm, with a crown of glory, and shouts, 
and cries. Silly, tired bairns. Look here-away ! look up 
the brae, come this way. 

Ye may ask what power had Christ to give His man- 
hood to die for others. This would seem to be against 
justice ; as a king's subject has not power to slay him- 
self, because in so doing he takes a subject from his 
prince. Answer. The subject is not altogether his 
own ; he owes his life to his king, and may not dispose 
of it, except he fail, against the king. But, howbeit, 
the manhood was God's creature, yet it was by the law 
of a personal union God's manhood, and God's flesh 
and blood ; and the God-head gave to the manhood 
absolute power to give his life for men, and to pledge 
Himself as the price of our redemption. See, then, 



no COMMUNION SERMONS. 



here a sweet mystery; the God-head furnished the sum 
to Jesus, and gave Him the price to pay ; and the man- 
hood gave it back to justice, as suffering and dead, for 
a ransom : law furnished the sum, and justice re- 
ceived it, and gave Christ our bond to tear in pieces. 

Another fruit of our Lord's to-look* to the joy that 
was set before Him, was, '' He despised the shame.^^ 
What shame ? Lighted there any shame on Christ ? 
Ay, in truth ! Heaven and earth wonder at an ashamed 
Christ. Look if Christ got not His part of it ; when 
mickle black shame came upon Him. But how. 
Shamed by men, and shamed by God, I shall prove 
both. 

One rascal struck Him on the head, another villain 
spat on His fair face : a great shame \ they wagged 
their heads, and brake a jest upon Him. Take up holy 
Jesus now ! say they. He trusted in God, let Him de- 
liver Him ! Think ye not but that went to Christ's 
heart, to hear those black mouths make a mock of God's 
glory ? Herod, and his men of war mocked Him. 
And see more shame yet ; howbeit He was an honest 
man all His life, they conveyed Him out of the town, 
and the guard at His back : His enemies scoffing at 
him, and children w^ondering at Him. And what more ? 
Dear Man ! He went out at the ports,t bearing His 
own cross on His back ! Of seventy disciples, twelve 
apostles, and all His friends, not one to help Him, or 
take an end, or a lift of the cursed tree ! And they 
put a crown of thorns on Him, scorning His kingdom. 
Was not this to put the thiefs' mark on Him ? And 
what more ? Might they not have said, This poor 
man has few friends .^ But His friends would take no 
part of His shame, and yet He took all their shame. 

* Eyelook, Regard to. t Gates. 



C OMMUNION SERMONS. 1 1 1 



God shamed Him also. His Father said a curse 
and malediction light on Him, shame light on Him. 
Start not at this. I shall clear it. Sin has aye shame 
on its back : ye know that God made Him sin ; and if 
God made Him sin, and a curse, He behoved to bring 
shame on Him. For the shame that should have 
come on us, and the reproachful words that justice 
would have given sinners, they lighted on our Lord. Ye 
see when a thief is taken in the fang;"^ and brought 
before the judge, and put to an assize, and challenged; 
he looks down, and thinks shame to look any man in 
the face. When the judge says, How durst thou do 
it ? Silly man, he blushes, hangs his head, and never 
says a word. So God put Christ upon the pannel, 
arraigned Him before His tribunal, and accused Him 
for our sins. Christ could not deny them, but stood 
as a sheep dumb before her shearers. He hung His 
head before justice, and the honest Man took with the 
fault. He said he would die for the murderer, adult- 
erer, swearer, idolater, drunkard, &c. Now there 
was reason here, that God should put Christ in this 
plea,t for the shamed man : because God's wise will 
is the rule of all justice. God made the first cove- 
nant that Adam should be legally for us, and the 
second covenant was so contrived that Christ should 
be for us. For Christ's manhood has a personality, 
not of its o\vn, but of the God-head ; and by the law 
of a personal union, Christ should enjoy Himself. 
Now, because Christ had a legal personality from us, 
and as in. His person undeTHis sufferings He enjoyed 
not the fruits of that personality, but was plunged in 
fear and horror, while He said (John xii. 27), " What 
shall I joy?" yet the God-head (to speak so) was 

* Act of clutching the article, t Controversy. 



()^i^p.v-^-^ \ 11^ 



1 1 2 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



like cork to make the manhood sweem above, that it 
was not swallowed up with God's infinite wrath ; and 
the manhood had personal legality from us, to bear 
the strokes by law due to us. Hence come and learn 
and be willing, with Christ, to want a limb of your 
credit for Him. He was shamed for you. O won- 
derful ! An ashamed sinner is nothing, an ashamed 
devil is ordinary: but God ashamed, an ashamed 
Christ is a miracle ! One honest man will suffer 
loss for another ; but to take another's shame is a 
different thing : yet this rarity was in Christ. A 
man who is a cautioner for his waster friend, the 
judge counts not him the waster, he is still thought 
an honest man; only he pays the sum. But Christ 
our Lord, besides the sum He paid by law, He was 
as the dyvour, for our sins were laid upon Him : for 
He and we are so near here, that He is as us, and 
made sin for us. 

''And is set dozun at the right hand of the throne of 
Godr — He was a good man, and endured all patiently, 
and so it was seen. He got much glory in the 
end ; there could not but grace come of Him, 
He was so mild under His sufferings. (Phil. ii. 9), 
*'\\Tierefore God hath highly exalted Him,'' cS:c. 
Wherefore, then, is His sitting down nothing but an 
exaltation, a state of glory above men and angels. To 
Him is all power given ; and He has received a 
name (Acts v. 31), '' Him hath God exalted with His 
right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give 
repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 

Now to understand this the better, note that His 
sitting as God upon His Father's right hand is but 
the open manifestation of His glory, which He had 
before the world was. His rising as a man to this 
state hath two steps going before it. 



COMMUMON SERMONS. u-^ 



1. The nature of man in Christ is made of the 
same metal with our nature, and therefore deserved 
a. personal union: and therefore the God of grace 
raised the manhood above itself, to be mamed to the 
God-head. This is the first step of the Headship 
spoken of (Heb. i.), God has made Him *'the heir of 
all things." For God indeed lifted man above Him- 
self, in giving to the manhood no created personality, 
but the personality of the God-head ; so as that 
blessed roanfeood, at one moment should subsist in 
the^iilofd, and subsist in the infinite personality of 
the God-head : that the man Christ, and the God-head 
should be in one person. 

2. Upon this, He resolved a free donation of 
Christ to the manhood, to be King, Priest, and 
Prophet, sufficiently qualified to grace us. This was 
grace" also ta the manhood, yet this grace was not 
given in such a measure to Christ, in the days of His 
flesh. Howbeit this grace, and the personal union 
did sufficiently bear Him up under all His sufferings. 

3. After His sufferings, the manhood saw ' the 
God-head, in a more glorious manner, and enjoyed 
Him after an admirable manner, and is made a per- 
sonal worker, and absolute commander of the world ; 
a Prince, a Judge, a Lord, and next to God; over 
and above all creatures. That our Husband is so 
high, is great matter of comfort to the faithful. Men 
who have a friend at court are aye troubling him 
with suits and writs ; we write not half many letters 
up to our Friend at court. He delights to speak of 
us to His Father, and to carry us in His heart, as the 
High Priest did the names of the twelve tribes on his 
breast : and to engrave us on the palms of His 
hands. Then see the gate, and follow Christ Jesus 
on the cross ; the cross is your way. Christ got a 

H ^ 



114 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



deeper gate ; His way was the cross, and the crown. 
Now, says the apostle, " Consider such an one,'' and 
yet spoken against by sinners : for sinners gave Him 
the lie. Look upon Him lest ye faint. (Psalm xxxi. 22), 
'' I said in my haste, I am cut off before thine eyes." 
(Isaiah xlix. 14), "Zion said, the Lord hath forsaken 
me, my God hath forgotten me." Think not, ye will 
aye be alike stout in the journey ; sometimes ye will 
fall down, and Christ will have you a lifting ; but He 
is near you with His flagon of wine to comfort you. 
Amen. 




SERMON VI/'^ 

Listen^ O isles, tmtoine; and hearken , ye people , from far. The 
Lord hath called me from the womb ; from the bowels of my 
mother hath He made mention of my name, ^c, — Isaiah 
xlix. I, 2, 3, 4. 

THE Prophet, from the fortieth chapter of this 
prophecy, to the end thereof, discourses of 
these two things, i. Of the bringing of the Church 
back from Babylon. 2. Of the restoration of the 
Church by Jesus Christ. Here is 

1. A preface to the doctrine of Christ, and the 
glory of the Church under Him. And in these words 
Christ Himself is speaking to the islands, and, among 
others, to Scotland and England : for Britain is one 
of those islands. 

2. The Person spoken of is described from His 
calling, and the power of His mediation, compared 
to a sharp sword. 

3. In allusion to the people for whom He is to 
work, it is said of Him, '^ Thou art My servant, O 
Israel, in whom I will be glorified." 

4. The unsuccessfulness of His ministry, occasioned 
by the obstinacy of the Jews ; '• I have laboured in 
vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in 
vain." 

'^ Listen, O isles, unto me^ — Christ first made choice 

* Preached at a Communion, at Kirkmabrcck, July 19th, 1634. 



1 1 6 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



of the people of the Jews ; but now He has broken 
down the partition wall betwixt Jew and Gentile ; and 
cries to us, ^' Listen, O isles, and hear, O Scotland 
and England/' Ye who lie far out in an isle of the 
sea, listen unto Me, and ye shall be My land and 
heritage. Now, O Scotland, God be thanked, thy 
name is in the Bible. Christ spake to us long since, 
ere ever we were born. Christ said, " Father, give 
Me the ends of the earth, put in Scotland and 
England, with the isles-men in the great Charter 
also : for I will have them among the rest (Psalm ii. 
8). God said, He should get all the land He named ; 
all Sinim, and all the ends of the earth : all beyond 
the river, Sheba and Seba. The land in acres, and 
ridges,* was measured out to Christ, and the march-t 
stones set. And as ye ken, in Charters, houses, 
crofts, mosses, moors, fowling, and fishing, even ail 
in the land's length and breadth are included, so 
Christ gets all His chosen ones that are included 
in the grand Charter of election. Believe in the 
Jiame and authority of the Son of God, I pray you 
Ibeheve, and read Scotland's Charter Psalm ii. 8, 
/xlv. and Ixxii. lo. Will ye then believe? 

But now we are like to be turned over to a new 
master ; Antichrist is claiming us. Eet us be woj 
for that. Ken ye what the enemies of the Kirk are 
doing? They are working hard that they may get 
Christ overthrown, and His Father's land taken from 
Him. Think ye they will come speed ? Nay, they 
shall not : the gates of hell and Rome shall not pre- 
vail against Him. Regard them not, for they shall 
not overcome. Christ's Charter is surer than that. 
Then let the isles hearken and obey; and I fear not 

* Rigs ; furrows. t Boundary-stones. Ij: Grieved. 



i 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



117 



that Christ shall lose one foot-breadth in Britain. 
But if ye will not believe and obey Him, surely there 
will be a land lost, and we will be given away. It 
was not an ill conquest that Christ made, and could 
not but thrive. It was well won (as we may say) 
by the sweat of His brow. Christ is not like many 
daft^ young heirs, who lose their estates by their folly. 
Christ is no waster. He never sold, nor mortgaged a 
furrf of His Father's land. It is on?- sins that have 
sold us, and not He. 

" Listen, O isles, Hearken, c5>r." — The isles must be 
Christ's, upon condition they hear and obey Him. 
Christ our Master must have service from us ; else we 
cast away our rights. *^ And being made perfect, He 
became the author of eternal salvation unto all who 
believe and obey Him'' (Heb. v. 9). Of Him the 
Father says, ** This is my Avell-beloved Son, in whom 
I am well pleased, hear Him." Listen therefore to 
the matter, for upon your peril be it, if ye reject the 
Lord Jesus. 

'* The Lord hath called me from the womb^ — \Vhat 
means this? Might not Christ have come uncalled? 
Nay, " No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he 
that is called of God, as was Aaron" (Heb. v. 4, 5). 
^* So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made 
unto Him an high priest, but He that said. Thou 
art My Son, to-day have I begotten Thee." If 
ye ask what was Christ's calling? I say it was, i. 
God's eternal decree, wherein it was decreed, and 
agreed upon in the Covenant of Redemption, be- 
twixt the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; 
that Christ should be the person : and writs, as it 
were, past betwixt them. 2. This calling is God's lay- 

* Not in their right mind. t Furrow, 



11 8 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



ing all the elect over upon Christ. Therefore the 
Father has not a personal oversight of the elect, they 
are all given to Christ ; they are all given to the 
Son's hands. " For there is one God, and one 
Mediator between God and man, the man Christ 
Jesus'' (i Tim. ii. 5). There is not another Mediator 
than He : neither the Father nor the Spirit. There 
is not another to answer, or compear personally for 
us. The Father (so to speak) has given all our bonds 
and writs over to the great advocate, Christ Jesus. 
The Father ^eeks, purposes, and pleads against 
mystical Christ, and cries. Payment, or death : — 
Death or payment, either from the Head or the 
members. But the Father laid on Him the iniquity 
of us all (Isaiah liii. 6). Was only our sin laid upon 
Christ? Nay, He is also made the author of eternal 
salvation by suffering. Never such a word is spoken 
of the other two glorious persons, in all the Book of 
God. If Christ had not given an infinite satisfaction, 
and payed the debt, none could have attained salva- 
tion. Works of supererogation will not do the turn ; 
man's free will cannot avail. Nothing but the blood 
of Jesus was able to compensate the matter. 

3. The Lord's calling Christ is His giving Him 
law on His side, by a public office; to teach as a 
Prophet, to suffer as a Priest, and to subdue, rule, 
and defend, as a King. For we may know for 
certain, that howbeit, Christ-man had a private good- 
will to us, pitying our case, and desiring we should 
be set at liberty ; yet that would not have done our 
turn, except He had been a divine person, and given 
the required satisfaction. A man may have a good- 
will to be cautioner and surety for another ; but if he 
is a rebel against the king, the law cannot accept of 
him. No, he cannot be accepted unless he be a free 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



119 



subject, and a sponsible^ man. So Christ having 
man's bowels to pity us, God gave Him law upon 
His side, and public authority against all sin. Here 
is a singular comfort to all weak, sick, and heavy- 
laden souls. If ye doubt of your salvation, remember 
that Christ by law, and God's good-will and special 
calling, is made and appointed a Mediator for you. 
Then it is no false pretension that Christ took your 
plea in hand : He has a calling to it by law. Then rest 
and rely upon Him alone for salvation. The Lord has 
made a resignation of you over to Christ ; and if ye 
truly believe in Him as He is offered to you in the ever- 
lasting gospel, there is no fear that He cast you off 
or that ye shall not be saved. Whoml He loves, He 
loves unto the end. If ye are His, He will not lose 
His right. Then boldly claim salvation, forgiveness, 
and Christ's righteousness. It is yours by God's 
calling; take your own, and be not driven from it 
as silly bodies : be not bostedf from salvation, by 
temptations, crosses, and faithless fears. If you 
believe in Christ, your rights are strong. Christ 
says, " The Lord God called Me from My mother's 
womb :" that may be your warrant, to trust in Him 
as an all-sufficient Saviour. Unbelief, then, must be 
a great liar, and slighter of Christ. It says as much 
as Christ is not a lawful Saviour, that He came un- 
called, and that His work will not stand. See then 
how deep in sin thou art, O unbeliever ! Thou turnest 
worse than a Jew, and say est at the first, Christ is a 
deceiver, and not a true Saviour. There is much 
talking of faith; but I wish it were well kend.J Alas ! 
that it is not better known. 

'''From the bowels of my mother hath he made men- 

* Able to pay. + Driven by threats. % Known ; understood 



I30 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



tion of my nameP — The law asked who should suffer 
for man? It was not content with the general 
answer, *^A cautioner and surety;" but one behoved 
to be named. So the Lord named Christ, and said ; 
Talk no more of that, there is none other meet for 
the work but Mine own eternal Son; the Son of 
God, and the Son of man. And upon Christ's con- 
senting, and answering to His name, God booked 
Him ; and writes it in His holy word, that Christ is 
Cautioner for His people. He was made to undergo 
the curse due to us, and His name was written in our 
bond. An honest man, especially in a high station, 
will not have his name called in question for a sum 
of money. He would rather pay the sum ere his 
name were heard in the Court. So, ere his name be 
heard for a fault that deserves infamy and death by 
the law, he would rather die. But our dear Redeemer 
was not so thin skinned; for His name was within 
our black bond, along with the perjured man, the 
adulterer, ^S^c, and justice laid hold on Him as if He 
had been the transgressor and sinner. He did not 
become the sinner actually, as the Antinomians say, 
else He could not have made satisfaction for the sins of 
His people. It is but a foolish conceit of theirs to 
imagine that He was both the sin, and the sacrifice for 
sin. No, instead of being the sinner, ^' He was holy, 
harmless, and undefiled'' (Heb. vii. 26). Yet (what is 
matter of admiration and wonder) this Holy One did 
undergo the full punishment that law and justice did 
require ! '-He poured out His soul unto death ; and 
He was numbered with the transgressors ; and He 
bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the 
transgressors" (Isaiah liii. 12). Lo, hear His name in 
God's high count-book, and the Father cries, "" Jesus 
Christ is made sin for sinners." This is a sore 



COMMCXION SERMONS. 



ditty f the law of God's curse and malediction lighted 
on Christ ! O ! The angels might wonder to hear 
Christ's name called in question. Then ye who 
think much to be spoken of for Christ, to be re- 
proached and nick-named ; or to have your names 
heard of before judges and rulers for Him ; why do 
>e so? He took a blot on His name for you! Christ 
did not hang down His head, nor think shame of 
you ! He avows you and your cause before His 
Father. So then, avow ye His name, Him and His 
truth also, before all the world. Take not a back- 
side, hold not your peace, flee not the place, when 
His cause comes in competition, with your name 
being heard of for Him. " It is your honour." Oh ! 
That we love ourselves so well, that we will not 
suffer a wrong for Him ! Oh ! Thy spirit will rise if 
thy name is but changed. And some of you will 
say, I thank God, none will say that of me, " But 
a whore's son !" and I thank God, my name is 
known where I dwell. And so is His name. Is thy 
name better known than thy Saviour, Christ's ? Who 
has the name of King of kings ? And yet His name 
was put in God's book along with the transgressor's. 
Christ took a little low style, as from a lord or an earl 
to a good man. He is aye called here, in our country, 
the Son of man. Many irreverent people, in the days 
of His flesh, called Him Mary's son. 

" Ife hath made my mouth like a sharp siuordP — 
Christ can shed blood with the tongue. (Rev. i. i6), 
*' And out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, 
that with it He should smite the nations.'' All whom 
Christ slays, as Mediator and Saviour, He slays them 
with His mouth; for see how sharp His sword is, 

* Indictment. 



122 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



(Heb. iv. 1 2), ^* The Word of God is quick and powerful, 
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even 
to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the 
joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts 
and intents of the heart.'' Woe, then, to them who 
have a heart of iron and flint, that sHps Christ's word, 
and are never slain with it. Some men's consciences 
are made of iron ; let Christ strike they will never stir. 
But yet Christ will beat such men's consciences all to 
flinders, and then they can never be mended again. 
But of this afterw^ard. 

It is true some are moved at the word, they will 
thrust out a tear. But I compare their motion to a 
strong physic on a weak stomach ; they are sick for a 
time, but incontinently they vomit it up again, and 
are as well as ever they were again. So are some men's 
hearts with the word ; they will be physic sick, but they 
will soon vomit up Christ's physic again : it goes not 
out of the kirk-yard with them ; it abides not with 
them till the next Lord's day. 

'' He hath hid me in the shadozv of His hand^ — This 
is a speech borrowed from a man carrying his child in 
his arms, in a stormy day, who keeps his hand betwixt 
the child and the blast. Or, when he is on his knee, 
and is too near the fire, he holds his hand betwixt the 
child's face and the fire, and keeps him from burning 
under the shadow of his hand. The man, Christ, was 
made to suffer a sore blast : a black storm of the north 
wind of God's anger blew upon His fair face till it was 
like to take all the skin off it. God put His hand be- 
twixt His face and the fire, and preserved Him in the 
shadow of His hand. And this is nothing else but 
God's protecting and defending Christ at His calling 
as King, Priest, and Prophet. ' . 

What would have ye more ? In all Christ's suffer- j 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



123 



ings, and troubles, God had the man, Christ, hidden 
under the shadow of His hand. God had a hearty 
handful of Christ, and that two ways. Ye know often- 
times His enemies would have been about with Him, 
but no man laid hands on Him, for His hour was not 
yet come. God gave Christ twelve hours in His day, 
so that He could neither stumble nor fall till His 
night came : for, in despite of His enemies. He stayed 
in the city till He got His turn done. They could not 
chase Christ to the fields, nor make Him flee the place. 
He came down to plead for the life of His Church 
and her laws ; and made a vow that He would not go 
home again till He got a decreet, and wan the plea ; 
and He got that or ere He rested. He was not chased 
out of the town till He had done His errand. Until 
He had all His silly ones brought out of hazard 
and danger, and brought out of hell. He wan not 
up to heaven again. He died not before His time ; 
He was not like green corn, cut down ere it be half- 
ripe. But Christ got His fill of the ground, and was 
ripe at all will, ere ever the Lord's hook cut Him off 
out of the land of the living : and so He was aye in 
the shadow of the Lord's hand. 

But under Christ's last sufferings, how He was hid 
under the shadow of God's hand is harder to under- 
stand : for Christ got justice and law, and no mercy. 
But I answer. 

I. That although Christ got no sparing mercy, yet 
He got helping mercy under His sulierings. Observe 
it, for there is need we go attentively here : the ground 
is somewhat slippery. The Word says, "God spared 
Him not." There was no collusion, or secret paction 
betwixt Christ and God's justice. Nay, the law would 
not take a composition from Christ for so much and 
forgive the rest, as if it had been great rigour to take 



124 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



all. If Christ had gotten a remission, He should have 
got some of the sweet Evangel. Nay, but Christ got 
nothing but law, the sour law ; and kept all the sweet 
Evangel to His poor dyvour friends, to poor, silly, help- 
less sinners. Therefore, Christ said, I will take all the 
sour, and ye shall get all the sweet. Nay, under de- 
sertion, Christ could not get a blink or word of His 
Father. Nay, I say more, God might not. He could 
not, as law went then. Christ cried, Is there not a 
word, dear Father, not a look ? And He answers. No, 
not a look for a world. But Christ got God's helping 
mercy : the sweet shadow of His almighty hand covered 
Him. For God sent His angel to comfort Him, but 
would not come Himself. God gave Him armour 
against all the strokes ; for He had assurance that the 
God-head and the manhood should never sunder. That 
was Christ's great Charter that He leaned mickle to 
in time of trouble. 

2. He got aye help sent Him from the God-head, 
at every stroke, inspiring Him with faith, strength, and 
patience of soul, Isaiah 1. 7, " Therefore have I set my 
face as a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." 
Christ's soul, because of the personal union, was all as 
flint. God smote, but the arrows never pierced Him : 
they only made wounds and rents ; but the soul never 
flew in pieces, nor was turned to nothing. But then, 
How was the matter? I say, Justice kept Christ 
from a kiss of the God-head. For there were two 
things here ; a. The windows of the God-head were 
closed, that neither the light nor the heat thereof, 
shined in upon the powers of Christ's soul, b. All 
the powers of His human soul were bound up. 
I. The natural power of joy was bound up like a 
great water dammed in, that none could get a blyth* 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



125 



look of Christ ! for He said, " My soul is exceeding 
sorrowful, even unto death." 2. The natural power 
of seeing God in the union was restrained. God hid- 
ing Himself, a black cloud of horrible fears was over 
Christ's judgment, that He should then believe, but not 
see nor contemplate the God-head, as before. 3. That 
power of enjoying, in all the whole humanity, and 
sweet actual complacency, and resting upon a felt 
Lord, who was absent, was restrained. And yet 
(which is a wonder of w^onders) with horrible fear. He 
had faith, and extreme love, with sadness ; in calling 
God His Father, with strong cries and tears, admirable 
patience and hope, which made Him long for an open 
window, to see day light. Indeed, though it w^as not 
possible that Christ should miscarry ; yet to our ap- 
pearance, our salvation was in a venture. If Christ 
had here gotten a wTong cast,* and gone a wrong step; 
then adieu to our salvation. But God be thanked, it 
was not a loose matter, nor loose hung. God had, all 
this time, Christ and our heaven in the hollow of His 
hand. See then, whenever God sends Christ, or any 
of His servants, an errand, He has them aye hard and 
fast in the hollow of His hand. God's faithful ministers 
and professors, serving in a lawful calling, are all 
here. If He send you to bear witness, and suffer 
for Him, He will bear your charges. If He yokef you 
against any foe. He wall defend you : but if ye go to 
the whore, and get an uncouth | sickness; or go to the 
world, and seek your happiness there ; then you are 
not under the shadow of God's hand : He will not 
bear your charges. If ye but yoke against any sin, 
He will defend you ; but if ye sin against Him, ye 
are exposed to all the arrows in His quiver. Why? 

* Set. t Set you to work, t Strange. 



126 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



The devil has employed you, and not God. Were 
you in God's service, your Master would stand for 
you. Then go on in His service, and draw upon 
Him for all your expenses. Christ, at the time when 
He stood at the great bar, held by the grand Charter 
in His hand, and answered. 

Now, what can Christ not abide, and what can He 
not do ? What can bits of clay creatures, rulers and 
princes, do against Him ? Even He endured such a 
battle ! We lose heart and courage, when we fear 
matters go so hard against God's ser\dce, and His 
truth. Indeed, our unbelief will be saying, Christ 
suffered not such a thing as God's wrath. Know 
ye what ye say ? Some will say. We doubt not but 
Christ can break all His enemies in pieces, like as 
many potsherds : but O, say they, we fear we have no 
strength ; we wot not if He will give us part of His 
strength. 

I Answer, Christ's strength is not to lie beside 
Him, as the \vretch's gold i"^ it is to give out for His 
kirk. But I must say one thing; every professor 
should try whether he be in Christ or not. If you 
be not in Christ, this world will blow you clean, clean 
away from Him. Nay, in any trouble, it is not pos- 
sible you can stand still. For this cause our Lord has 
sent a trial, that those who have nothing to do with 
Christ may be blown away. If ye would suffer for 
Christ, slay your affections, and mortify your lusts. 
They shall not be honoured with suffering who have 
not given sin its death's wounds. If ye would suffer 
for Christ, and die for Him, ye must be a member : 
for a tree-fleg suffers not when the head bleedeth. 
If your heart be prepared, and if you be resolved to 

* The rrtiser's money. t Wooden. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 127 



see Christ get a bloody head in His members, or in 
His cause, see that ye suffer with Him. 

" He hath made vie a sharp arroiu ;^^ an arrow with 
a sharp point. The sword slays near at hand, and 
the arrow kills afar off. They are within Christ's 
bounds who are slain with the sword ; but the arrow 
flies over the devil's camp, and kills many on the 
other side of it. Therefore, it slays those who are 
over in Satan's wilderness, and the wild beasts that 
are in the woods. It kills lions, leopards, asses, and 
tigers, that is, men of a wild and savage nature, and 
makes them obedient to the gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. This arrow flies over to the wild people of 
America, and those who are without Christ in the 
world, worshipping the host of heaven. I think 
Christ is a keen hunter; He lays about Him with 
His sword, and slays those who are within His reach. 
Those who are half in half owt. He pulls them in, and 
takes them in His arms. Those who are afar off, 
over in America, He bends His bow, and sends a 
flight or two of arrows amongst them, and the 
wounded come mourning in, and say. Lord, what 
wilt Thou have me to do? But know this, that 
some in this world, at whose conscience Christ shoots 
His arrows, they lie behind a dyke, and the arrow 
flies by them. (Matt. xxii. 5, 6, Luke xiv. 18, 19, 
20), "When the chief priests and Pharisees had heard 
the parable, they perceived that He spake of them : 
and they sought to lay hands on Him." They who 
brought the woman taken in adultery (John viii. 9), 
when they heard Christ say, " He that is without sin 
among you, let him cast the first stone at her: being 
convicted by their own conscience, went out one by 
one, beginning at the eldest even unto the last." The 
Lord shot an arrow at their consciences, but they 



128 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



crouched and hid themselves behind a wall. See we 
not that the seventh command shoots an arrow at the 
fleshly man ? he crouches by it and runs to the harlot 
The eighth command shoots an arrow at the covetous 
man, and cries, Wo upon the oppressor and deceiver ; 
and yet he skips away by, crouches and goes after his 
covetousness. Nay, some wild beasts go away, and 
the arrow sticking in them, and the blood coming out ; 
but they shake and fling out the arrow, the blood 
drys, the wound closes up, and mends again. The 
conscience of many that God's arrow makes a hole in, 
and causes them bleed, fling out the arrow, and the 
wound mends. The devil can lay a plaister upon a 
wounded conscience, and heal it again. See Acts vii. 
Some heard Stephen preach, and they saw his face 
shine like an angel of God ; and were not able to 
resist the spirit wherewith he spake. He calling 
them stifl*-necked, and uncircumcised in heart, and 
casting up to them their idolatry, they pulled out 
Christ's arrow, and fell to their idolatry again, and 
stoned Stephen to death. I love it not when men 
can crouch, and run away from the word, and find 
excuses, and wrestle a fall with Christ, and Eis word. 
Well, beware of this; if ye wrestle with Him and 
fight against His word, take heed ye break not your 
arm, and that your shoulder blade be not out of lith.'^ 
But this is not Christ the Mediator's arrow, this is 
His deaf arrow. Our Lord Jesus has another arrow 
with a thistle point, that He shoots at the heart of His 
elect, the Lord crying with its coming, '' Saul, Saul, 
why persecutest thou MeT' He shot him off his 
horse, and laid him on the ground, that like a 
wounded man, he cried, trembling and astonished, 

' Joint. 



COMMUMON SERMONS. 



129 



" Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do ? " (Acts ix. 6). 
Come near to Christ in the word and Sacraments. 
Christ has now here, under the elements of bread and 
wine, a bended bow in His hand ; with which, and by 
the foolishness of preaching (as it is called by men) 
He is lying, as it were, behind a dyke, and stealing a 
shot at you. Lord, send Him His prey ! The Lord 
send you in the gospel the thing you shall never shake 
off again. For know ye when Christ speaks to the 
Elect there, there is a sharp steel-pointed arrow in 
the end of His tongue, that will pierce sinners to 
death, and lay them low. (Lsaiah 1. 4), "The Lord 
hath given Me the tongue of the learned, that I 
should know how to speak a word in season to him 
that is weary." For our Lord has good skill to aim a 
shot of His arrow, and drive it even to the feather : 
right to the head in the conscience of His own. See 
when He comes by ]\Iatthew, and says. Follow Me ; 
immediately he falls over like a dead man : he leaves 
his custom and his count-books, and follows Christ. 
Christ comes by Zaccheus, sitting on a sycamore tree 
and bids him come down : He bends His bow, and 
shoots an arrow at him, and cries, "Come do^vn, 
Zaccheus, for to-day I must abide at thy house ; " and 
he came down good speed; and from his heart he 
could never pull out the arrow to this day. Coming 
by Jacob's well at Samaria, Christ bended His bow 
and shot the woman of Samaria : she left her water-pot, 
and came in to the city ana said, " Come, see a man 
that told me all thingL that ever I did. Is not this 
the Christ?" (Acts ii.) With an arrow from Peter's 
mouth, Christ shot three thousand at one shot : He 
shot them all with one broad arrow through the 
heart : they were pricK'-d in their hearts. I think 
Christ, ever since Adam sinned in Paradise, has 
I 



130 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



been hunting, and until the end of the world, will 
still be hunting and shooting wild beasts. O ! but 
He will come to His Father at night with a rich 
prey: many slain men — many shot with His arrow. 
It is true, we think Christ's arrow is sharp, and that 
the word of God pains us, for we have no wilF to a 
bloody head. But we must bear and suffer the word 
of exhortation. Christ will not slay us, but will bind 
up the wounds again : His wounds are sweet. 

Now, we know that when an arrow is loosed off, 
and flies through the air, if a man sees it not coming 
upon him, and if it be shot with pith, he cannot 
hinder it to go through his flesh, or enter into the 
bone. So no man can resist one of Christ's arrows. 
The enemies of God's grace say, that free will is so 
good and hard, that it will break the point of an 
arrow, and drive it back. I'll warrant you that free 
will is as hard as flint ; but if the devil had put on a 
double corslet of proof upon the soul, Christ's arrow 
will go through it. Why? Because (Eph. i. 19, 
Col. ii. 12), by as great power does Christ work 
faith in us, as was that omnipotent power which 
raised Jesus Christ from the dead; and it was 
by the strong hand of the Almighty that Christ of 
necessity behoved to be raised. And therefore they 
are liars who say. In conversion, grace and free will 
start and begin to run both together, like two horses 
at the starting place. They lie, for God's grace has 
the first start. It breaks off first, and powerfully and 
sweetly draws our free will, so that we run : but 
Christ prays, calls, and gives us strength, and speed 
of foot. It is not here, as in a ship equally belonging 
to two merchants, the one half his, and the other his ; 

* Do not like blood to be drawn. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



^31 



as if Christ did the one half, by shooting the arrows ; 
and we the other half, by opening the windows of 
our hearts, to let the arrows come in. Nay, all is 
Clirist's work ; His arrow drives up the window. 
There is no danger that Christ's arrow turn aside 
and kill nothing : He is a complete marksman, and 
will not miss. Nay, He waits not on till our free 
will be in her good blood, and well disposed; He 
makes us well disposed, and draws, and runs, then 
we run. 

It is true, our will is like the stomached child, who 
has taken offence, and will not go near his father. 
But here Christ winds in His arrow near the heart, 
and makes the child love the father, and come creep- 
ing in to him ; as Matthew and Zaccheus did. Fy 
then ! If Christ be such a tried Saviour, lay mickle 
on Him : it is a pity that such a strong Saviour should 
not be burdened. Who is here who have not their 
own burdens ? One groaning under covetousness ; 
another under pride, sweating with the devil's pack- 
mantle '.^ a backful of lusts, running at the devil's 
horse foot. Fy then ! Ease yourselves, and lay the 
burden upon Christ; and yourselves also. Now, I 
say, debts, losses, horses, sums of money, lands, &c., 
lay them all upon Christ. 

I trow men pity Christ; they fear He lose. No^ 
fear not ; I'll warrant Him : He will bear both you 
and your burdens. Then let us all burden Christ ; 
lay enough upon Him ; come and hang upon Him. 
O ! if all who are in this house would come just 
now, as fast as they could win forward, and hang 
all about Him, like a hive of bees. Rest upon Him, 
about His neck, and upon His arm, as birds upon a 

* Cloak in which a load is wrapt up. 



132 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



branch. O, fly as doves to His windows, and build 
your nests in Him (Isaiah Ix. 8). 

" And said unto Me, Thou art My ServaniT — Christ 
was not indeed hired by any, but by His Father. His 
Father sent Him and He wan the hire, saved the 
Kirk, and was very faithful ; but the world gave Him 
the devil for His thanks. God behoved to have ser- 
vice, and a hard piece of service out of the Man, 
Christ ; even such a service as made Him sweat the 
best blood of His body. It was dear service to Christ 
but (so to speak) considering the way that God had 
laid down to bring man to heaven and satisfy justice, 
it was not possible that He could get the work done 
without a servant. The work would have lain, and 
our redemption ceased for ever. Man nor angel, 
neither would nor could look upon the bargain. 
Then Christ, God-man, behoved to be hired, and 
He sought no wages of His Father, but a Kirk, a 
seed, and the place in glory, for Himself and His 
which He had with the Father from eternity. (John 
xvii. 5.) From you He seeks no hire, but faith and 
obedience ; and it in a manner, breaks Christ's heart, 
to consider what service He undertook for you, and 
how coldrife and indifferent ye are in His service ! 
He ran till He swat for you ; but alas ! you have 
neither heart nor hand in His service. He is, by 
His infinite benevolence, forcing good-will, kindness, 
love, and friendship out of us ! but alas ! He comes 
ill speed. Men will not want their pleasures, nor 
deny themselves for Him. Christ may say. Why, 
and what ails you at Me ? I veiled My glory, and 
made Myself of no reputation, yea a curse for you ! 
And is this your kindness to your Friend ? 

Truly men misken Christ, in His sufferings. He 
came so far below His place, was so ill handled, 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



^ZZ 



that they all said, This is not the Messiah. Let me 
see who will come beneath their place, or quit an 
inch of their will, for Him ; or cast away their lusts, 
deny this world's glory, and take up their cross and 
follow Him? He left heaven for you; but ye will 
not quit the earth for Him, and yet there is no com- 
parison betwixt the two. 

" Thoic art My serva?it, O Israel, in whom I luill he 
glorified^ — That is, it is the nation of the Jews, to 
whom I will first shew My glory : *^ Go first to the 
lost sheep of the House of Israel." For ye ken, 
when a kinsman is to sell anything, reason is he give 
his friend the first offer before ever he offer the bar- 
gain to any other. So Christ came into the world to 
sell Himself to man. But the Jews were His brethren 
by birth : He took on Him the Jew's flesh and blood, 
for He was a born Jew. So Christ said to the Jews, 
Ye are My friends, ye shall get the first offer of Me. 
I will not begin with the Gentiles, till ye say nay. 
Christ was even like a great market town, the ports =-• 
were closed upon us poor Gentiles ; and upon all 
Britain, while the Jews got the morning of the mar- 
ket. But they made few or no bargains in the morn- 
ing : there was no sale for Christ among the Jews. 
Then, on the afternoon, Christ bade open the ports, 
and let the poor Gentiles come in. He said to His 
servants, Go your way, bid the isles come ; bid Scot- 
land and England, and the land of Sinim, and the 
utmost ends of the earth come. Wherefore? The 
Jews will not have Me : I will bargain with the 
Gentiles. There was a fair, and rich table covered 
for the Jews, God's fair high board, and He called 
them to the first mess : but they, like daft bairns, ran 

* Gates. 



134 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



to the play, and had more mind of their play than of 
their meat. They did let their meat turn cold, and 
ran after salvation in Moses' law, and would not take 
the new feast of slain Christ; but loathed at their 
meat, and spilt Christ's blood. He held the cup of 
His blood to them, but they did cast it all back in 
His face again. God said, their by-board* might 
serve the Gentiles : but when the Lord saw that 
Israel would have none of Him, He shut out the 
mislearedt bairns; and turned them to the broad 
fields to shift for themselves; their Father scourged 
them to the door, and said. Bring in the poor hungry 
Gentiles. Call in the hungry isles-men, bring in the 
poor, the lame, the cripples, and blind beggars. Now, 
Scotland and England, Take your meat, and eat, and 
grow. God be thanked we got the cold meat: the 
Lord did fetch us to the first mess. 

Now be not high-minded, but fear. Learn a lesson 
of the Jews, and be not spoilt bairns. Eat your meat 
and grow thereby; take this afternoon's market of 
Christ. But alas ! The fair is like to skaill: Alas ! 
it is now growing like old sour drink in Scotland : and 
we are beginning to play \vith our meat. We are now 
beginning to clip Christ's ordinances, and to add to, 
and part from His Testament. Indeed, I think Scot- 
land is making a quarrel with Christ : they say, Our 
religion is naked, and clipped like, wanting the busk- 
ing ;§ it must have ceremonies to busk it with. The 
gospel was sweet to us at the beginning; but now 
men have no list || to the word ; our zeal is away and 
dead, we have fallen from our first love. Jezebel, the 
false prophetess, and false apostles, are come in among 



Side-table ; their leavings. + Rude and unmannerly. 

X Empty. § Ornaments. || Relish for. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 135 



US. It is a marvel, and may be a marvel, if there be 
not bloody heads for this labour. I fear we will be 
sent to the hills, as well as the Jews were : mourn for 
the abominations of the land. If ever ye awake till 
the last trumpet, awake now, and look about you ; 
and see where Christ was hidden ; even in the hollow 
of God's hand. Flee to Him and He shall hide you, 
the members, there also. 

*' TJmi I said ^ I have laboured in vainT — See Christ 
is brought in here complaining of the Jews to His 
Father. Take heed He make not His moan of Scot- 
land and England (for Britain is one of the chief isles). 
Is He not saying even to you who are here, Will ye 
play Me the same measure that the Jews played Me? 
O play it not ! Many a dirty armful I had of them ; 
long did I bear them in My arms, and yet they gave 
Me small thanks. So Christ is here, as it were, sorry 
that He had lost His travel, and spent the strength of 
His body, in seeking the Jews, and saying, ^^ Woe unto 
thee, Chorazin ! woe unto thee, Bethsaida !" (Matt, xi.) 
*' Jerusalem, Jerusalem" (Matt, xxiii. 37). "And He 
came to His owti, and His own received Him not.'' 
And this complaint He bears to His Father ; He is 
even, as it were, saying. Take up the welcome the 
house of Israel gave Me : they pierced My hands and 
My feet. And here is a help and encouragement to 
all God's faithful ministers, after their taking pains, 
and having spent their strength in vain, and seeing 
little fruit of their labours. Lo, here Christ in Isaiah's 
days making the same complaint. 

There is an ordinary word of the Papists, " If your 
doctrine be the truth, where is the power of it ?" How 
comes it that there are so few gained to Christ by the 
power of it ? Ansiuer. Surely the Jews might have 
said the same of Christ? If Ye be the Messiah, where 



136 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



are all who follow You ? We see only twelve men and 
seventy disciples, and some few women : but what are 
they to all Israel and Judah, who are not brought in? 
Christ says it is very true, few follow Me, I have spent 
My strength in vain, and for nothing. What then ? 
" My reward is with the Lord." Jesus Christ is not 
the worse, that few follow Him, that few will take 
Him. Although only two in a kingdom take Christ, 
Christ is not to be casten away. Neither will Christ 
rue because the Jews will not take Him, or because 
few follow Him. But when Christ comes with 
His sword and bow to a land, if we, like as many 
wild beasts, run into the woods, and our consciences 
flee into dens and caves of the earth; one to his 
pride, another to his den of covetousness, a third 
to the wilderness of vanity as we do, and refuse 
to abide the shot of Christ's bow, yet He will do 
the office of a Mediator and Saviour, and say of us 
to His Father, as He said of the Jews, I have spent 
My strength in vain : and will give in a heavy com- 
plaint of us to His Father. And God will read and 
hear Christ's bill, and give Him justice. It will be 
a hard matter, if our Saviour turn our pursuer ; if our 
Advocate, who should plead for us, turn a complainer, 
plead against us, and say, Father, I came to them, 
and knocked till My head was bedewed with rain- 
and they would not let Me in. 

See then ; if Christ preach, and say, I got the wind 
for My pains, none were converted, it is not the 
power and holiness of the preacher that convert men. 
Nay, men think it is the want of ministers that undoes 
us. If I had (say they) heard Christ from the pulpit, 
as Mary and Peter did, I would then soon have been 
converted. Nay, Judas heard Christ, but what the 
better was he ? I grant if a minister be not called. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 137 



and graced with God's Spirit to preach, he who made 

him a preacher might as well have made a swine-herd 
of him. But when God's chosen servants cast out 
the net, they take not aye in fish. Christ went through 
the seas, and shot His Hues seeking fishes, and some- 
times caught nothing. Peter (Acts ii.) shot his Hne, 
and catched three thousand. What is the want of 
success, but God's saying, It is not the preacher, but 
the Spirit of God that does it ? Then call no man 
Rabbi : we take God to witness, that we would have 
you off our hand. We say not, Christ is only with us. 
Read the King's letter, carry it who will, if they have 
God's calling. And yet I tell you it is possible when 
Christ preaches, your tide of conversion is not yet 
come ; may be it is not marrying time ; it is not time 
to shake the tree. Ye have not gotten play enough 
yet, and therefore no marvel ye are not yet converted. 
Will not one fisher fish a pool, roll over the streams, 
and get nothing ; and another of less skill may come 
and catch the fishes ? 

'^ I have laboured VI vain'^ — When Christ came to 
the world in His flesh and preached ; did they receive 
Him as Mediator? He had no greater errand in the 
world; all was against Him. In His cradle they 
sought His life ; He had as many sore temptations in 
the world as He had even of the devil himself. Nay 
the world so tempted Him, in His calling, that He 
and they were aye at holding and drawing. They 
could never agree any time. What ailed them at 
Him? for He came a good en^and to the world, to 
bring them home to His Father. He wronged no 
man, yet they say He is a deceiver. The best work 
that could be, was to forgive sins : yet they called 
that blasphemy. They mistook the casting out of 
devils. No, say they, He has the master devil, 



138 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Beelzebub, the captain of all the rest, who commands 
all the little ones, and by him He casts out devils. 
And they slew the Heir, and cast Him out of the 
inheritance. So if Christ found the world a hard bed, 
I think all His friends have cause to think so of it too. 
For badly were His friends treated. Jeremiah cries 
out (xv. 10), "Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast 
born me, a man of strife, and a man of contention to 
the whole earth." All the people cursed Jeremiah : 
and see how the apostles were treated, and what they 
met with, i Cor. iv. 11, 12, 13, "Even unto this 
present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are 
naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelHng 
place ; and labour, working with our own hands : 
being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer 
it ; being defamed, we entreat : we are made as the 
filth and offscourings of the world : — We become all 
things to all men." 

Was not that a sad welcoming, that He and His 
got in the world ? Christ owned all His members : 
but they will be flouted at, and gloomed^ at here. 
Ye know the mother will not let her o\vn child 
want; but cares not how long her step-bairns be 
both naked, and starving for hunger, because she is 
a step-mother. So the world is a step-mother to 
Christ, and all His children; it cares not to see 
them, naked, poor, and hungry, persecuted and heart- 
broken. 

I like it not, when the world handles you as her 
own children, and casts a piece to you when ye 
weep. Better be God's sons, and the world's step- 
bairns, than the world's daties.f I love it not ill that 
all God's children get a hard bed, and ill cheer in 

* Fro\^Tied upon. f Darlings. 



COMMUNIOISr SERMON'S. 139 



this world. Christ had not a house amongst them : 
they would not give Him a drink of water in His 
thirst : they would not welcome Him and His doc- 
trine : they gave Him but cold cheer when He came 
to the house of His friends. David was once that 
he could neither get bread nor water in the wilder- 
ness, and said, he was a sojourner here, as all his 
fathers were. Abraham dwelt in tents; and Jacob 
was a herd to Laban, a broken stranger, and was 
glad to lodge in the fields, with a stone under his 
head for a pillow. Israel lodged forty years in the 
^^dlderness, like the beggars, not two nights in one 
place. Moses wanted father and mother to bring 
him up. Christ and His disciples could not get 
lodging in Samaria. Woe worth Esau, but the world 
plays him a slip, and makes him sell his birth-right 
for his breakfast. I think all God's children may 
call the world an uncouth'^* inns : but they must e'en 
take it as they get it, as their Master before them 
did. 

Let us carry ourselves like the good natured 
stranger, who resolves never to quarrel, nor fight 
with his host; howbeit his meat be ill, and his 
reckoning dear, and he have to sleep on a straw 
bed. He says. What the matter, for all my time, I 
will never make a noise about it : I am but to stay 
for a night. Surely Christ and His Spouse get but a 
cot-house, and a straw bed here. See ye not how all 
the wicked have their horns out against Him and 
His silly lambs. They are chasing them from one 
kingdom to another, and hunting them out at the 
town's end; just as if ye saw a poor man going 
through a town, sad, weary, and hungry ; this black- 



Strange, foreign. 



I40 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



guard and that blackguard hound their dogs at him ; 
the poor man is glad to get away with a whole skin. 
Christ and His dear children are going through this 
world, sad, weary, and heart-broken ; and the in- 
dwellers of this city send out all their dogs after 
them. O, if ye were at home. O fy ! sleep not in 
this dear inns. I dare say, Cain, Saul, and Judas 
have not reason to speak good of it, but to say as 
men say of a dear bargain : Woe be to it, we spent 
much on it, but got little good in it. Esau may say, 
I lost my soul for a breakfast in it. Judas may say, 
Woe worth it; for I lost my soul in it, for thirty 
pieces of silver. All men may say. We got a crack 
in our conscience for our pleasures, and all was but 
vanity ; a broken tooth, a snow ball, a feather. Alas ! 
That we love it so well, make it our darling and sit 
down upon it. Elijah was a heart-broken man, and 
would fain have been out of the world. Job was in 
it like an old ship, that gets a dash on this rock and 
that rock ; and would fain have been hidden in the 
grave. Daniel was a poor persecuted man, and a 
captive under the enemy's feet. And what should I 
say of the rest ? They all got ill cheer in the world. 
See Heb. xi. 38, " Of whom the world was not worthy; 
they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in 
dens and caves of the earth," and there had no light. 
John the Baptist lived in the wilderness, a friendless 
man ; and at last they took off his head. 

It is good if the old ship comes in at the port, ere 
she be driven all to flinders. If a man was riding 
through his enemies, and every one shooting at him, 
he would spur his horse fast, till he came in to his own 
ground. I think the believer's poor soul is like a ship 
among rocks ; it gets dash after dash. O that we were 
in Christ's good sea-room, then we should defy them all. 



COMMUMON SERMONS. 141 



" Yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my 
work luith my God.^^ — Lest men should think Christ 
did rue the bargain, lo, here He sorrows not, nor rues. 
He says not, Let Israel go to hell ! No; but My con- 
science says to Me, I have done the work, and My 
God will reward Me. So, then, in a temptation, when 
ye are ill handled by the world, when ye have a sore 
heart, and ye cannot get matters as ye w^ould have 
them, fear not ; a good conscience will get comfort. 
When the people were wrong (i Samuel xii. 3), and 
^\Tonged Samuel, they would have another judge, 
he mends himself well, and says, '' Whose ox or ass 
have I taken ; or whom have I defrauded ? " Job 
xvi. 19, when he was tempted by his friend, said, 
** My witness is in heaven, and my record is on high." 
And David, when He was accused of treason by Saul, 
when he might not clear himself, prays (Psalm vii. 
3, 5), '' O Lord, my God, if I have done this ; if 
iniquity be in my hands ; let the enemy persecute my 
soul." 

That which is called a good conscience is like a 
glass, wherein a man may see his face. Whereas, 
the wicked have a conscience like a foul, muddy 
fountain, where the bottom cannot be seen. Nay, 
he dare not in a heavy temptation, or in death, go 
into his conscience ; for it is hke a smoky house all 
full of reek, that a man who hath tender eyes cannot 
abide it, nor be able to hold up his head in it. But 
when all the people are cursing Jeremiah, and he 
thinks he has a hard lot of it, he goes into his con- 
science, and takes it before the Lord, and says, " Thy 
words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word 
was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jer. 
XV. 16). Now, I think the wicked man^s conscience 
is like a dung-hill, all full of filth ; he dare not, he 



142 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



cannot take it up : his old adulteries ; his old rotten 
falsehood that he committed twenty years ago. So 
his thefts, his blood-shed, his covetousness, his oppres- 
sion, his backbiting, and his wrongs done to this man 
and that man, are such nauseous things, that he dare 
not turn them up, for fear they cause him vomit. 
When Judas looked into his conscience, he wakened 
a sleeping lion ; for out came falsehood to his Master; 
out came blood-shed ; and out came love to the thirty 
pieces of silver like three furious lions, and devour 
and tear him to pieces. See that ye keep your con- 
sciences void of offence tow^ards God and man. 

Make your life a fine, good, and sound building, 
reared up upon a good foundation, for the time to 
come : that when your life is ended, and your work 
done, you need not think shame of your Avork. But 
you must not essay this on your own strength, for that 
will be of no avail ; but only in the strength of Jesus 
Christ and Divine aid. It is in the Lord only that 
there is righteousness and strength. Man's free will 
is not able to effectuate a saving change upon any 
person. You might as well say that the Ethiopian 
could change his skin, and the leopard his spots. 

But, oh ! woe's me to see so many men land 
masters of their consciences : as if their conscience 
was so great that they might sell part of it in fairs and 
markets to the best bidder. Some count little of their 
conscience : they will take an edge thereof to aug- 
ment their house. Another Avill dispense with part 
thereof to enlarge his possession. Another will part 
with half of his conscience to enhance his credit. 
Many pay little respect to their conscience in buy- 
ing and selling if they can get gain. The mer- 
chant wastes his conscience; for before he quit an 
inch of his credit, he would rather quit an ell of 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



143 



his conscience. The proud man wastes his conscience, 
to carry on his pride. Many now, for the world, and 
the standing of their estate, can sell both goods, truth, 
and three or four ells of their conscience. Thus the 
kirk-man wastes his conscience ; as if his conscience 
were a long web of an hundred ells ; he may throw 
away part thereof, and it never be missed. And ken 
ye what some men have now devised? They have 
devised what they are pleased to call indifferent things, 
indifferent truths in religion ; and think that they may 
sell twenty stone weight of them, and have enough 
behind. But in Moses' days truth was scarcer : 
Moses behoved to make all things according to the 
pattern he saw in the mount : and he would not leave 
a hoof behind. But it is a wealthier world now ! We 
have broad fair fields, broad and long indifferent 
things : we may sell acres of them good and cheap. 
But how any thing lawful, or unlawful, can be in- 
different, we have yet to learn. Sin is still sin, and 
truth truth ; and none of them a matter of indifferency. 
Lord, help this nation to prepare for the awakening 
storm that is coming to bring us to our right senses. 
And I pray you, take His word along with you, as a 
means of preparation. Keep your conscience clean 
and undefiled. Christ kept His conscience to the 
latter end of the day, till He had spent His strength, 
done His work, and finished His talk ; and then He 
got joy of it. Keep your conscience pure, as much as 
possible, to the end of your day : for a clear conscience 
in a dying hour, will give more satisfaction than all 
that this world can afford. And beware of the devil's 
or the world's hammer of covetousness, lest it light 
on your conscience, and break it all to pieces : and 
then see how all the craft ye have will mend it To 
God only wise, be praise. Amen. 




SERMON VII.*'' 

Then said I, I iv ill not feed you : that that dieth, let it die; and 
that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off ; and let the rest eat 
every one the flesh of another^ ^c. — Zech. xi. 9, 10, 1 1, 12, 



BELOVED in our Lord, this text is Christ's fare- 
well to the Church of the Jews. He is, as it 
were, half out at the door, leaving His harlot wife ; 
and saying to her, Seek ye another husband, and I 
will seek another wife : and so He bids her adieu. 
The words contain, 

1. Christ's good-night : *^ I will not feed you J^ 

2. A fruit of His farewell : '' That that dieth, let it 
dier 

3. The manner of His departing from them : " / 
took My staffs and ait it asunder. ^^ 

4. What followed upon that : " The poor of the flock 
that waited upon Me knew that it was the word of the 
Lordr 

5. Ere He go clean away, and give over His calling, 
He says. Pay me my bygones if "'Give me my price '^ 

6. They gave Him for His price, thirty pieces of 
silver to buy Him, that they might get Him crucified. 

7. He is sorry, is offended, or grudges the price, 
and says, " Cast it into the potter : a goodly price that / 



* Preached at a Communion in Anwoth, in the year 1 634. 
+ What is due to Me far the past. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



MS 



was prized at of thefn.^^ As if He had said, Give it to 
your beggars and strangers, to buy a burial place 
for them : for I will have none of your wages, if 
that be all you will give Me. And so the Lord's 
wages was casten back again into the potter's field, 
to buy it. 

I. '^ Then said I, I will 7iot feed you T — Here is a 
terrible word, and a hard threatening spoken by 
Christ, the great Shepherd, sent of the Father, to 
gather in His own sheep. "I will feed you no more." 
Beware, O people of Anwoth, lest He be saying this 
unto many of you ; for your want of love to Him, 
and slighting His ordinances with the means of salva- 
tion and mercy offered unto you. Hence we may 
observe, that when Christ has gathered in all His own 
sheep, all His own elect children and people. He 
sometimes gives them up for a season. This prophecy 
has a relation to that time, after Christ's death and 
ascension, when the Apostles left the church of the 
Jews, and turned themselves to seek and suit a 
young wife for their Master, even the church of the 
Gentiles. 

Even in Abraham's days, when it was but morning, 
and the beginning of days, the Lord began to feed 
His sheep, and sent Moses and Aaron to herd them 
in the wilderness : and sent prophets and servants to 
His vineyard, with an order to say. Render fruit; send 
in the rent of your farm to My Father. But they slew 
and stoned the prophets (Matt, xxiii. 37). Then H3 
sent other servants unto them, and they beat them. 
At length He sent the King's own Son, the Heir and 
Lord of all, to them ; and they slew Him. And He 
sent the apostles last of all, and they persecuted and 
killed them (Matt. xxi. 36, 37, 38, 39). All this time 
Christ was gathering in His own sheep, for Christ will 

K 



146 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



want none of them. And when Christ had gotten in 
all the lost money, even all to the last farthing; then 
He blows out the candle, and cares not for the rest, 
but says. Take ye the sweepings of the house and 
cast them away; I have got My own. Wherefore 
holdeth a great man a house ? It is not to entertain 
beggars and strangers : they get a bit, or a meal in 
the by-going, which is all their errand to the house. 
But He holds His house to entertain His children 
and servants in : and were it not for them. He would 
give up house-keeping. When Christ's children are 
grown up, and married to their new husband; and 
when His sheep are gathered into His fold, sealed 
and marked ; and when there are but strangers with- 
out ; then He gives up house-keeping, locks the door, 
and says. He will feed them no more. 

Hence also, here is a spark of hope to those who 
fear Christ. If He say to this land, I will feed you 
no more ; yet there is in the land children and sheep 
to be fed. Ye shall aye get your meat of it, go as it 
will. Though ye should be hounded and scattered 
from mountain to mountain; and though the dogs 
should bark at you ; yet Christ must feed the poor of 
the flock, till He get them out from among the rest. 
And therefore eat ye now, and take the meals that 
your Lord sends you, with good will : it is for you 
that God feeds the flock. It is not for the rocks and 
the mountains, that God sends down rain ; it is for 
the grass and the corn. 

2. The fruit of Christ's departure : says He, " T/iat 
that dtet/i, let it dieP — This, no doubt, is hard. Lord, 
if you feedest us not, we will die, we will be hounded 
and slain upon the mountains. Yea, I know, says 
Christ, it shall be so : but I shall be blameless ; I 
shall give up with you, and lay down My calling. , 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



147 



Hence, we see what follows, when Christ turns His 
back on the sheep. They die, they perish, they eat 
one another's flesh for hunger. For not only were 
those people made vagabonds upon the earth, as they 
are at this day ; but their souls famish, and they are 
groping in darkness for the coming of another 
Messiah. So we see when Christ, the Shepherd, 
goes away, the fox, the lion, the wolf, and all the 
dogs of hell, come and run away with the flock. 
For this is Satan's way, when Christ has gone away, 
pulled down the Shepherd's tents, removed a preach- 
ing ministry, and taken His flock with Him. The 
leavings and the goats must fall to the lion. The 
devil gets Christ's leavings; what God refuses, by 
law falls to the devil : when Christ has gotten in 
His wheat, then Satan comes and takes up the loose 
sheaf AVoe to you who are not in Christ's bundle, 
but fall out and lie in the field, and will not be 
gathered into Christ's bam, for ye are the devil's by law. 

Then, ere we proceed further, let every one try 
whose side they are on. Ye cannot deny that Christ 
is at His harvest, and gathering in His sheaves in 
this land. See whose mark and arms you carry : ye 
must carry either God's or the devil's. See whether 
ye be in Rome's black camp, wherein the fallen star, 
the red dragon, and the prince of the bottomless pit, 
are the captains. For Christ is now mustering His 
men, and proclaiming, Who is for Me, and who is 
for battle? Some are saying, God help us, for we 
know not which of the sides is rightest : ye say one 
thing, and they say another. If ye say, '^ I am indif- 
ferent;" I like not that. Ye will get a master ere 
long. Satan, by his due, gets the wandered sheep; I 
mean the indifferent man, or him who is on none of 
the sides. 



148 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Many temporal evils come upon a people, when 
Christ says, " / will feed you 7io 7nore,^^ — Multitudes 
who heard Zechariah, would be glad at this, " I will 
feed you no more/^ They would say. We will get 
the good old lucky world again : when we baked 
cakes to the queen of heaven we wanted nothing : 
we will get quit of that which the barking prophets 
are aye crying : " The burden of the Lord, the burden 
of the Lord." So say our people. If this religion were 
away we will get the Igood old merry, sonsy^ world 
again, wherein there was much luck and grace. 

Then let our text answer you both. So then, would 
you have the old lucky, sonsy world again? Then 
take it to you out of God's mouth ; '' Ye shall eat 
every one the flesh of another," when the gospel goes 
away. God said then; Devil, anti-Christ, Jesuite, 
pestilence, famine, and sword, set on them ! I have 
done with them. The Romans, sword, and famine, 
did devour them. Will a mother eat her own child 
of a span long for hunger ? yet this was done. That 
was the old world the Jews got when Christ turned 
His back upon them. For this, see Jer. xxv. 17, 
When the people rejected the word of the Lord, and 
put it from them, as we are doing, the Lord put in 
Jerusalem's and Judah's hand the cup of the wine of 
the wrath of God, and bids them drink, and spue, and 
fall, and never rise again. Now what think ye of this 
old sonsy world ? See also Psalm Ixxiv. ; when God 
left feeding His sheep, in came the enemies, warred, 
burnt the sanctuary, &c. And when God left the 
flock (Psalm Ixxix. 2), the dead bodies of His servants 
are given for meat to the fowls of heaven. And see 
what follows on God's departure (Ezek. viii. 9, 10, 11, 

' Plump and thriving. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



149 



and xii. 13). The prince shall flee away on his feet, 
with his flitting upon his back. *^ I will spread my 
net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare : and 
I will bring him to Babylon.'' They shall be taken 
as birds, &c. 

3. '^ And I took 7ny staffs rue7i beauty^ and ad it asunder^ 
that I might break my covejiant luhich I had made with 
all the peopled — Here there are three things, i. What 
the staff is. 2. The name of it, Beauty. 3. The Lord's 
breaking of it. 

I shall go no further to seek the meaning of it. 
The breaking of the staff is the breaking of the cove- 
nant: the staff itself is the word of God and covenant. 
And indeed the word of God is Christ's shepherd's 
staff, whereby He driveth His sheep to heaven, and 
awakes the conscience. For Christ has no rod over 
the neck of His sheep but His word; it is His 
sceptre. Christ's strength, in bringing in His sheep 
is in His word, for it is His sceptre ; and therefore it 
is called. The Lord's arm (Isaiah liii. i). And an 
arm must have a hand and fingers. It is even that, 
whereby He wrestles with His enemies, with sinners, 
when He makes them saints : and no man dare 
separate them. The devil would fain separate Christ 
and the soul, when they are wrestling a fall ; but 
Christ gives him a back-stroke, and with His staff can 
wound the conscience of one who has seven devils, 
and can cause them fall under Him. But know, our 
Lord useth this sort of staff against several sorts of 
men, wherein ye shall see the use of it. 

a. Christ casts His staff at many, and it misses 
them, for the pikes of it go no more in the conscience 
of some men than a pointless arrow in a wall of 
brass (Ezek. iii. 7). Are there not many who are 
no more moved, nor touched with the sharp point of 



150 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Christ's staff than a dead man is with the sound of a 
trumpet blown in his ear? The word never draws 
blood in their consciences, they can fence and ward 
their souls from a stroke. 

b. Some get a blad^ and a bleaf stroke in their 
conscience, as trembling Felix did, and despairing 
Cain, and others got. But the devil heals their 
wounds; as Cain got a plaster on his wound, and 
went and built a city. See, for this, Hosea vi. There 
ye see how our Lord blads and strikes with His staff. 
Verse 5, He says, '' I have hewed them in pieces by 
My prophets, and slain them by the words of My 
mouth.'* There was blea wounds in their conscience 
made by Christ's staff. But what then? Verse 7, 
^'But they like men have transgressed the covenant." 
They mended again, after Christ's staff had wounded 
their conscience. 

c. Some get a dead stroke with Christ's staff. It is 
a dead trumpet to them, and cries nothing to them 
but God's curse and malediction ; i Peter ii. 8 ; 
2 Cor. X. 6, " Christ is to them a stone of stumbling 
and rock of offence, even to them that stumble at the 
word, being disobedient thereunto." Christ strikes 
with the rod and strength of His power : " He strikes 
through kings, and fills the high-ways with dead 
bodies " (Psalm ex). 

d. The Lord's own sheep get a wound in their 
consciences with the staff. Beauty, as when He cries, 
*^Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" Saul bled 
with the pikes of the staff, so that the law, and the 
curses and terrors of it drew him off his high horse, 



* A blow. 

t A stroke that makes them black and blue. Old Gamn 
Douglas uses this expression. 



COMMUMON SERMONS. 



151 



and made him lie on the breadth of his back ; so that 
he cried, **Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" 
Christ, with His staff, struck three thousand at once, 
until they were pricked in their hearts (Acts ii. 37). 
And they cried, for their consciences were driven all 
to flinders, saying, " Men and brethren, what shall we 
do to be saved ? " Lydia got such a back-stroke with 
the pikes of this staff, that Christ, with infinite power, 
brake up all the locks of her heart, till it was made to 
receive the word. Then know ye when God's word 
strikes the conscience ? If ye did, ye would say. Lord, 
strike on ! ye would wish that Christ's staff. Beauty, 
laid you in a swoon. Many of you are angry when 
it touches you. Ye are not wise ; it is but Christ's 
staff knocking your crown (Rom. v. 10, ii). He 
made Paul's head blood : " the law (says he) slew me." 
He gave to David, by Nathan, so many strokes with 
the word, that his bones were broken (Psalm Ii. 8). 
Better get a broken head, than get leave, with the 
silly, foolish sheep, to slip into a pit-hole, or ditch, 
for a little green grass, and be drowned there. 

It is called Beauty because the word of God is 
purer than gold tried in the fire seven times. And 
what a sweet sight it is to see Him, who is the fairest of 
men, the fairest among the sons of men, standing in 
all His beauty, in the midst of His flock, with His staff. 
Beauty, in His hand. 

€, The breaking of this staff is of the greatest weight 
and concernment. And this our Lord speaketh as a 
shepherd tired of his part of it ; and threateneth to go 
away. So, as it were in a passion, our Lord speaketh 
thus, I will go seek a new master, and seek ye a new 
servant. Nay, He was both angry and sorry ; so that 
He shed tears at His flitting. Matt, xxiii. 37, 38, Luke 
xix. 41, " If thou hadst known in this thy day," &c. 



152 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Doctrine, Then Christ has a term day with a par- 
ticular church ; and when He is ill used He may go 
where He may do better. 

But let us see whether Christ had good cause or not 
to break His staff and leave His flock to the foxes. 
Answer, He had ; because He was true and faithful 
in His service, and was aye seeking out the w^andering 
sheep ; soon up and late up, with many a sore heart, 
seeking them : and He lost none, but made an ac- 
count of them all to His Father. What were all these? 
Ezek. iii. 6, "■ If I had sent thee to a nation of a strange 
language," &c. Matt. xii. 41, *' The men of Nineveh shall 
rise up in judgment with this generation, and shall 
condemn it." Chap xi. 21, " Woe unto thee, Chorazin," 
&c. These show that Christ had but a hard life when 
He fed them. 

But to come nearer yet. What causes a servant tire 
of his services ? The ruler of the house changes his 
wages, and strikes him, howbeit he do his duty : and 
the rest of the servants mock him ; he is set at the 
board foot*^ and matchedf with every running beggar 
that comes to the house. Few give him good words : 
they all look do\vTi upon him with contempt and scorn. 
Just so was Christ handled; the rulers, Pharisees, 
and priests, did not pay Him His wages ; they smote 
Him. Every lown in the house made a fool of the 
honest servant ; yea, the high priest's servants smote 
Him on the face, and spat upon Him. Indeed, they 
set Him to the by-board, yea, to the foot of the board, 
Psalm xxii. 7, ^' I am a worm, and no man." They 
matched Him with every vagabond that came to the 
house, and put Him in the midst, between two thieves. 



*Foot of the table. f Put on a level with. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



153 



They gave Christ the thiet's seat, and Barabbas was 
thought better than He. 

Might not Christ break His heart for all these things, 
and say, What ails ye at ]\[e ? Might He not break 
His Shepherd's staff, put up His wares, and flit ? Might 
He not say, It's time for Me co pack^ to the gate, they 
are tired of My service. And yet I have gotten many 
a wet foot in seeking these sheep ? Yea, He may say, 
they are ill worthy of Him. 

AH that is true. But to come to ourselves. In His 
members He is ill used : banished, silenced, and 
treated worse than Barabbas. He gets no justice in 
our Parliaments ; Papists, Arminians, and Atheists, get 
favour, honour, and court preferment ; but an honest 
professor is counted an ill subject, a seditious man, and 
an enemy to authority. But see how God has met us, 
He has broken His staff. Beauty : the purity, power, 
and life of doctrine is away. The word of God is 
not sharp from preachers' mouths : it draws no blood 
in men's consciences. Nay, we wield not the staff 
with force, until the fire fly from the pikes of it. 
We castt and handle it, as if our arm was broken ! 
We see the sheep gone out of the way, and over the 
march, in the Lord's forbidden pasture. We see 
ever)^ man out of his place, and everything wrong 
in the Kirk. We see the sheep devoured and 
poisoned with Popery and false doctrine in colleges 
and pulpits. The staff is not draA\Ti ; and why ? 
Because it is broken; and ye will yet see it worse 
broken. Think ye that a pair of organs, and an ill 
said mass (as King James the VI. termed it), and a 
busking of dirty ceremonies, the whore's abominations, 
which we once spued out, think ye that ever this staff 

* Bundle up and go. t Fling it about. 



IS4 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



will draw blood of a man's conscience? Nay, ere 
this staff break, or blood '-' a proud hard heart that 
exalts itself against the knowledge of God, ye may 
as soon essay to break a man's head with a straw, or 
a rush. The Lord says this is a broken staff, and 
we see it not. 

" That I might break my covenants — Because of the 
doctrine of the pestilent enemies of grace, I will crave 
leave to free this place, and to prove, i. That the 
covenant of grace with the elect cannot be broken. 
2. Show in what sense the Lord says. He will break 
His covenant. 

For the first of these, see Jer. xxxi. 36, 37, Isaiah 
liv. 10, "For the mountains shall depart," &c. I 
intend, at another occasion, to prove that the cove- 
nant is made fast with Christ, and so stands not in 
our free will. See Jer. xxxii. 40, chap. xxxi. 32, 33, 
34, 35, Luke vi. 13. God's oath and promise is a 
sure thing. "Aye sure," say they. What then? 
" Sure and sealed on God's part, providing we sin 
not, for God swears that believers shall be saved." 
Nay, but the Lord made the covenant with Adam 
everlasting ; for if Adam had stood, the Lord would 
have done His part. Nay, the law of nature, given 
to the reprobate angels, in their creation, should have 
been as stable as the new covenant : for will any call 
in question, that God would have rewarded the apos- 
tate angels, providing they had continued in their 
obedience. "Nay," say they, "the covenant keeps 
not men from sinning against the covenant; but 
sinning against the covenant breaks the covenant." 

Answer, Sin on the elect's part breaks not the 
new covenant (Psalm Ixxxix. 33). 

* Make to bleed. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 155 



But the question is : If the elect can sin against 
the covenant ? If that were objected, 

I answer. They may sin, and sin against the 
doctrine of the covenant, and against the articles of 
the contract of marriage, as a wife may take another 
lover. But if this be in the contract, " She shall be my 
wife, howbeit she take another lover," then her har- 
lotry by no law, destroys the marriage contract. Now, 
when Christ marries His church. He says He will 
forgive her sins, and swears He will forgive her 
harlotry. 

But I ask, What makes a man to be within the 
covenant ? Answer. Not faith nor obedience. What 
then? God's free love. Ezek. xvi. 8, "Thy time 
was the time of love, — I sware unto thee, and entered 
into a covenant with thee." Then how long is a 
contract valid ? So long as the chief clause is kept. 
Now, the chief head of the contract is God's eternal 
love, and all here is fastened on God's free promise ; 
and this is surer than mountains of brass. As long 
as the foundation and corner-stone is firm, the wall 
standeth. Now, in all the sins of the elect, the un- 
changeable love of God standeth still. And let 
Papists, Arminians, and Socinians, come and loose 
this comer-stone if they can : it will break all their 
backs to aim at it, and has clouded their wits already. 

To sin against the covenant is to cast the grace of 
the covenant fully away, so as if they were without it ; 
so that they are not now within it \ as Adam was after 
the fall. But, by sin, the elect cannot shake off the 
seed of God (i John iii. 9), " For His seed remaineth 
in Him." Here is a special difference betwixt the 
first and the last covenant that will clear the matter. 

In the first covenant, Adam had not a tutor, he 
was like a daft young heir, who, having gotten infeft- 



156 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



ment of all that his father gave him, he wastes and 
spends all. But, in the latter covenant, God does 
with us as a father doth with a bankrupt son : he 
gives him little at once, infefts him not, but keeps a 
hank in his own hand,*^* and gives him over to a 
tutor. Man has cracked his credit with God; and 
so the Lord will not put a sum in free will's hands 
again ; but He doth two things, i. He gives little 
in hand but the end of the covenant, and keeps the 
body of it in His own. Our writs and charters are 
in Christ's keeping, we lose aye the thing we get, and 
therefore God gives us only a copy of the charter; 
but while here we never get the principal ; Christ 
keeps the great sum and gives us but like a penny 
to keep our purse. 2. We have not power to cast 
out the seed again no more than a man child has 
power to make himself a woman child. 

Now, the point is. Wherefore saith God He will 
break His covenant with His people ? 

Answer, It is not He will break His covenant 
with these same elect persons, as John, Thomas, 
Anna, Mary, and all who are elected, or within the 
covenant : but He breaketh the covenant with a new 
generation, a generation of castaways, who are their 
seed, and gloried that the covenant was made with 
their fathers, and call themselves Abraham's seed and 
chiefest kindred : their kindred was better than them- 
selves. That particular church, had so many years of 
Christ for mailf and duty. J The tack§ expires, they 
sin, and pay not ; then Christ warns all the tenants, 
in His Father's name, to flit. The contract was made 
with their fathers ; they came in their fathers' room, 
but did not their duty, and God put them away. But 

* Keeps the management, t Rent. % Tax. § The lease. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



157 



as for the true, friendly, and tender believers, He takes 
some of them to their rest, and some to their king- 
dom. And if here and there one be left, when the 
Shepherd's staff is broken, He feeds them secretly; 
and is a little sanctuary to them, and they shall get 
crowns immediately from God. And therefore the 
breaking of the covenant is nothing but the breaking 
of the staff, and taking away of the word from the 
people of the Jews. 

And therefore we may learn our lesson, if we are 
good scholars. The Lord has given us summons, 
and our tacks are worn out. Many are called home 
who are within the covenant. God can separate His 
own from the wicked, and then God shall tear the 
contract of marriage. Therefore try your holding, 
and look out your papers, and see upon what terms 
ye brock* Christ. I fear some have nothing but pro- 
fession, empty, windy profession; others have the 
thoughts of their own head ; many have little law or 
right upon their side for Christ. Therefore see to 
yourselves; Christ has said He will try your sitting, 
what shall either be His, or your own. Your rights 
are growing old, renew them to-day, and make sure 
work. 

^'A7id it was broken^^ &c. — When God will break 
the staff, who can keep it whole ? There can none 
come after God that can mend the thing that He 
doeth. AVhen God gives out the doom, it is no 
empty talk. The thing that God makes crooked no 
man can set a foot on it and even it (Eccles. vii. 13, 
Jobxii. 14). He says. Behold He breaketh down, and 
it cannot be built up again. Then, ere the decreet be 
given forth, let us return : for who will get a suspen- 

* Broke ; transact business with. 



158 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



sion on the Lord's decreet? Nay (Jer. xv. i), "Though 
Moses and Samuel stood before me, my heart 
could not be towards this people." And therefore, if 
He give His church a shake for her sins, it will try all 
our art to mend her ; and if He shall drive our hard 
hearts all to pieces, then put ye your hands to 
mend it. 

4. " And the poor of the flock knew that it was the word 
of the Lord.^^ — Hear how He speaks of the remnant of 
election. Ask what is the church, and especially after 
judgment has gone through the land ? They are a num- 
ber of on-waiters. There was nothing left now, when 
Christ had broken His two staves. Beauty and Bands, 
but to wait on an absent hidden Christ. For we can 
all wait on and believe when the Bridegroom fills our 
eyes with His presence, but see what the prophet 
Isaiah saith, chap. viii. 17, "I will wait upon the Lord, 
that hideth His face from the house of Jacob, and will 
look for Him." This is something to wait for a hidden 
God, and to kiss Christ in the dark night, that is a won- 
der, Psalm cxxiii., "Behold, as the eyes of servants 
look into the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of 
a maiden into the hand of her mistress : so our eyes 
wait upon the Lord our God, until that He have mercy 
upon us." Ken ye not, when a poor serwint has gotten 
a bloody skin, and comes in all bloody to his master, 
what a look will he let out, even as he would look 
through him : so are our Lord's children, when op- 
pressed with bloody faces, looking up to our Lord and 
waiting on (see Psalm cxxx. 6). As the morning watch 
waiteth for the morning; so we see the saints holding 
out their tired arms to God, and longing and looking 
over the mountains. And they have little or nothing 
in hand but hope. 

Here is a doubt answered. Worldlings say, What have 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



159 



ye that we have not ? Ye are a sick, poor, oppressed, 
banished, and mocked people ; and where is your happi- 
ness. We have here an answer to such \ we are on-waiters 
on God. Ken ye not some are very rich, and have 
thousands in this man's hand, and thousands in that 
man's hand. If ye ask them where their riches is, and 
bid them let you see what they are worth ; they can 
let you see nothing but a number of papers, and bonds; 
even so, heaven is the land of promise, and the land of 
hope to believers. Let the apostle answer in this, i John 
iii. 2, '^Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth 
not yet appear what we shall be ; but we know that, 
when He shall appear, we shall be like Him." We are 
the poor of the flock, and the nothings of the world 
(i Cor. i. 21). We are nothing, that is, but little less than 
a straw, or a feather. But stay, I pray you, our stock 
is in God's hand. Wait ye on until yonder day, until 
the fair, clear, and bright heartsome morning of your 
long summer day, when Christ shall take His weeping 
bride in His arms, kiss her and wipe her face, and say, 
" My dear sister, hold thy tongue," and shall busk her 
with His own hand. 

Will ye let this foul black shower blow by ; die not 
for sorrow. Wait on ; now stir about Christ's door, 
cry over the wall. Lord, Jesus, take in a begging 
brother. Cry and wait, and I can assure you Christ 
Jesus is cautioner, and the Holy Spirit notary, who 
writes it, and takes heaven and earth, sun and moon, 
to be witnesses, that ye shall laugh and rejoice, and be 
forced to say, Believers indeed have a great to-look,* 
and are very happy. 

'* Then I kncu* it was the word of the Lord,^^ — So 
soon as the staff is broken, and the Lord flitted : the 

* Prospect of things to come. 



l6o COMMUNION SERMONS, 



Lord^s poor on-waiters miss Christ, they begin to dap 
their hands, and to say, Alas ! He is away. And the 
rest know not what that means ; they remember not 
that, though it was written as Zechariah had prophe- 
sied. So the Doctrhie is. That Christ cannot steal 
away from His own, and beguile them, but they miss 
Him, and know that He is away. The faithful know 
when He goes, and when He comes. If not so, what 
means that of the spouse ? " Saw ye him whom my 
soul loveth ? And I charge you by the roes, and by 
the hinds of the field, that ye tell him when ye find 
him that I am sick of love" (Cant, ii.) The Church 
sees Him on the mountains, standing behind the wall; 
she misses Him (Cant, iii.), and cannot find Him with 
the watchmen. But on the contrary, you see the 
wicked never miss Him ; they know not what God is 
doing when the staff is broken. Nay (Hos. vii. 9), 
" Strangers have devoured Him, and He knows it 
not." And even when our church is falling there 
are men who say she is rising, and that the staff is as 
whole as ever it was, and more so : and say our church 
was under beggary and misery before. And why? 
They would have a kirk, conscience, and religion 
made of gold, silks, and velvets, and foot-mantles, 
and high horses, and much court. But this text says, 
the poor of the flock are the only on-waiters on 
Christ. 

5. But to proceed to verse 12, ''■ A7id I said unto 
ihem, If ye think good, give me my price. ^^ 

Doctrine, A good ser\^ant, such as Christ was, 
should get His hire uncraved : but Christ gets leave 
to crave His hire thrice over, ere He get it : yea, and 
to seek His own by law. Now, I think, I recollect 
to have heard of a humble meek Steward, speaking 
very modestly to his master, and saying, If it please 



COMMUMON SERMONS. i6i 



you, I would have the thing I have wrought for. 
Even so (to speak with reverence), it is here. 

Doctrine. Hence we see where Christ has laboured, 
He will seek fruit (Isaiah v.), "I looked for grapes, and 
behold wild grapes.'' He will not work for nothing. 
He bade John Baptist make ready His way, ere He 
came. In Matt. iii. 8, says John, Bring forth fruit 
worthy of amendment of life. And in all His doc- 
trine, He urged the bringing forth of fruit. And as 
for the Jews' waste, He cursed the fig-tree, because it 
had leaves, and no fruit; therefore every one in 
Christ's house, seeing Christ served you in hard 
service, and gave His life in ransom for you, pay 
Him. Remember Christ is a hard craver, and will 
seek His owti, especially His wages from you, even 
obedience, and newness of life. O then ! See that 
ye bear not bulk* in His garden, and no more ; but 
do good for fear He pull you up and cast you over 
the dyke. When men are redeemed, and have gotten 
forgiveness, they are ready to sit down and do no 
more; just as if a drink of the well in David's house 
had made them drunken, and laid them over to sleep. 
Nay, but when ye have gotten mercy, ye must up the 
brae.f For know ye, that when Christ saves you, as 
your Shepherd, and gives His life for you, see that 
you bargain, or change with Him, to give Him your- 
self for His wages. When an honest man bargains 
with another, he says to him. Ye shall be no loser : I 
shall lose ere ye lose. So should ye, when Christ 
bargains with you ; let Him not be behind, but rather 
lose yourselves, ere Christ want a penny of His wages. 
Woe's me, to hear that professors, in buying or selling, 
will, for five or six shillings more of a price, let Christ's 

* Quantity ; mere body. t Press onward. 

L 



1 62 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



glory get a blot. Is this to pay Him His wages ? It 
were something to be a servant, would ye pay Him 
for by-gones.^' In this ye may learn a doctrine. 

Doctrine. Christ is made a servant, and a servant 
is not his own, but a bond man ; an hired servant is 
his master's, and all his work is his master's ; and he 
is bound to serve no other. How is this? Was Christ 
our servant? Yea, He says, in Matt. xx. 28, "The Son 
of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to min- 
ister, and to give His life a ransom for many." 

But it were well done here to clear the matter to 
you, and to let you see that Christ was hired, and 
who hired Him. We hired Him not. Why then 
should He crave His wages of His church ? 

Answer. His Father hired Him. For understand- 
ing of this ; — God, our Father, and Christ's Father, 
had a necessary piece of service to do : He had His 
sheep to bring out of hell : sheep that had gone 
astray, over and beyond the black river of death and 
hell : and our merciful Lord would fain have them 
brought home again. The angels could not take the 
service in hand : they could never have won the hire : 
but in comes Christ, and says, I will win the wages. 
And He struck hands with the Father : and was booked 
God's servant. Isaiah xlii., " Behold My servant, whom 
I have chosen." At the meeting, Christ said, I will 
do Your bidding ; and so He did (Psalm xl. 7, 8), 
''Then said He, Lo, I come: in the volume of the 
book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O 
My God ; yea, Thy law is written within My heart." 
And (Isaiah 1. 5), "The Lord hath opened," or 
pierced, " mine ear :" as the servant under the law, 
who would not leave his master's service; so was 

* Past kindness. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 163 



our Lord. And further, He says, I was not rebellious, 
neither turned I away My back. Verse 6, " I gave 
My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that 
plucked off the hair." And (Phil. ii. 7), ''He made 
Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form 
of a servant." There is Christ saying, My Father 
bored My ear, and hired Me as a servant, to suffer 
shame and death. And says Christ, I did My duty, 
I played not the truant, I brake not to Him : or I 
came not back, nor turned to a back-side : I brake 
not away from My Master, as an ill servant. Now 
then, ye see, God hired Him to Himself, and God 
hired Him to us ; and Christ was true to His Master, 
and God trusted all to Him (Isaiah lii. 13), ''Behold, 
My Servant shall deal prudently." And so God gave 
Him in hand grace and strength above His fellows 
for the work ; and promised Him a willing people, or 
a kingdom. And Christ accepted of the condition, 
and said, Send Me, a bargain be it. 

iS'ow, God be thanked for that hired Servant. And 
God gave to Christ something in hand; even our 
nature. By taking a body, Christ bound Himself to 
us, head and foot, as well as He was bound to God. 
For He having taken our nature, was sworn to bestow 
His manhood upon us, to redeem us. For had He 
taken on man's nature, and not saved man, He had 
not kept the condition as a faithful servant : but now 
being bound. He then puts His hand to the pen, and 
says Amen to the bargain. So then, when Christ 
became man, He said, A bargain be it. It's true, 
naked manhood was not enough to make Him a 
sufficient servant ; but Christ said, I shall put to that 
which is wanting. I shall put to My grace to your 
nature, and My God-head to your manhood, to make 
the work hold forward. Now know that the Lord 



1 64 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



was bound to God and to us, not merely to do His 
best to perfect the service ; not to bring our salvation 
under free communing* betwixt God and us : not as if 
He had said, I shall do what I can to make the agree- 
ment betwixt you, and to save you : I will see if I can 
please parties ; and, if not, I shall leave it no worse 
than I found it. Nay, but accepting the office of a 
Mediatorship, He took upon Him an absolute sub- 
mission to make up the difference, or else to stick by 
the gate;t and that what God had left undone (to 
speak so) Christ was bound as a Servant to make it 
up. So God and man made it up ; for God had lost 
the glory, both of His truth and justice: of His active 
and passive obedience. Man had taken it from Him; 
and Christ said to His Father, All Thy losses be upon 
Me, and crave Me for all : and here what man had 
stolen, Christ gave it again, of the same kind : as if 
money was stolen, aiid money was given again to 
him from whom it was stolen. 

Let us learn, then, to bind ourselves to Christ, as 
He bound Himself to us ; for He could not run away 
when once He was bound. So when once we are 
His, we may not take the play. Christ once gave in 
obedience (when we had lost heaven) to justice and 
truth; and Christ said. My dear brethren, all your 
losses be on me, Amen. Now, well said. Lord 
Jesus. Look then now, how Christ was bound for 
you, and yet ye think much to bind your necks to 
His service, for thirty or forty years, and then to go 
to heaven through Him? But he went a rougher 
gate for you, to hell and the grave. Now, be content 
to bind yourselves to Him, I pray you. 

'-'And if not, forbear'' — As if Christ would say, 

* Leave it as a question to be discussed. t \vay. 



COMMUKION SERMONS. 165 



If ye will not pay Me, I will not break My heart for 
the matter; keep it to yourselves. I will do My 
work ; My Father will pay Me. He is even speaking 
as they use to do to dyvours. Either pay Me, or say 
ye \d\\ not : shift* Me not. Give Me either wages, 
or surety, that I may seek My own by law. 

But then I see when all is done, Christ cares not 
much to want His wages, He resolved to do the work 
whether He got hire or not. It was another He was 
looking to than man. He had an earnest desire after 
the work, howbeit we should pay Him nothing. For 
the matter stood not upon our will, and our love, so 
as if Christ had said, I work My work, and die, upon 
condition they will pay Me. Nay, it was not so; 
but a reason in His death and mediation was to win 
our will to obedience, and to purchase grace, whereby 
we should be made willing to pay Him His wages. 
And here we see, if a nation refuse Him, as Scotland, 
He will get others willing to pay Him His wages. 
He will not want a new master. 

6. " & they weighed for My price thirty pieces of silver" 
— Consider this answer was neither boasting nor high ; 
but like the meek Lamb of God; like a poor oppressed 
servant. He craved His wages, and said. Give me My 
hire for My labour. See the rough answer they gave 
Him, Give You Your wages ; the carpenter's Son who 
has a devil? Give Him thirty pieces (say they) to 
buy Him to the gallows ! Hire Judas to put Him 
out to us, that we may take Him and hang Him, for 
that is the wages we allow upon Him ! Is not this 
indiscreet talking to the Son of God. They pay the 
Shepherd His wages with many a blea stroke,! saying. 
Let Him take that for His pains. They answered 

* Do not put Me off. t Stroke that makes black and blue. 



1 66 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



even as a rough master does to an ill servant, who 
says, Pay me, and let me go my ways. The master 
answers, Give you your ^^ ages ! give you the gallows ! 
So do they answer Christ, as if He were an ill servant. 
But His Father sent Him with good words, *^ I am 
that good Shepherd, come unto Me all ye that are 
weary, and heavy laden. If any man thirst, let him 
come to Me, and drink." Then might not the priests 
have given our Lord a good answer ? Nay, see two 
words in Matt. xxi. -t^"^^ 39. The Heir came to seek 
friiit, of the vineyard they caught Him and cast Him 
out of the vineyard, and slew Him. Would ye have 
believed, when Christ came to His own vineyard, that 
the servants would have slain Him and casten Him 
over the dyke ; denied Him a grave, and let Him 
borrow another man's ! Would ye not wonder to see 
Him come in to the church, in to the Parliament 
House, and to see men cast the door in His face, 
and hold Him out. Yet even so (Acts iv. 11), He 
was the stone set at nought, and thrown over the wall. 
O ! a strange thing ! Would they give Him no room 
in the wall ? Might they not have made Him a pin- 
ning ?" Or was He not fit for the work ? 

Now ye may say, Foresaw not Christ all this ; saw 
He not, ere He was hired, what wages His master's 
would give Him? Ay, this text tells, in Zechariah's 
days He saw it. Wherefore then entered He on the 
service ? 

Aiis7ifer. If ye look the text, ye mil see He took 
the hire and would not return it again ; but in His 
providing, He cast it to the Potter's field, and went on 
in His service for all that. See yet more, what a meek 
and patient servant Christ was. He cried. Pay Me 

* A small stone in the wall. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 167 



My wages ; but they said, Give You wages ! give You 
thirty pieces of silver to buy You to the gallows. Thus 
they stormed at Christ's answer, and ran away. Yet 
indeed He took it, and employed it as he thought good. 
He calls it His wages ; as if He would say, This is even 
as much as refusing to pay Me. Why not willing, My 
dear spouse? Thirty pieces of silver to 1 uy Me to the 
cross ! I am even content ; a bargain be it. I see it 
will be so : I foresee and prophesy it will be so. 

Then the Lord saw how matters would go, and how 
He would be handled ; but yet He would not repent 
of the bargain; He would not give it over; He accepted 
of the money, and goes forward in His service, until 
He be betrayed, slain, and buried. Ye may see, then 
Christ had resolved on the worst, to swallow all indig- 
nities, and set His face against the stormy blast. Now, 
see ye, all that Christ got was a hard reward for His 
service : He had many a wet foot in seeking His sheep; 
and got but twenty-six pounds Scots'^ for His pains. 
Christ did not stumble on the matter by guess, as one 
who makes a bargain, and when He sees what it will 
cost Him, He says, It had been good for Me if I had 
never seen it. Nay, but Christ saw the worst, and re- 
solved on the worst. Nay, but has He not been serving 
all along ever since the Reformation ? And who can 
deny that He has been feeding His sheep amongst us, 
craving His Avages, and seeking His fruit ? But alas ! 
we have given Him as little as they did before the 
Reformation? We have sold Him and His truth. 
What fruits has He gotten ? They are worth nothing. 
Nothing but ignorance of God, idolatr}^, cursing, lying, 
and swearing; and on His Sabbath He gets but raw 
service, an hour and a half, and on some days mickle 

* The value of thirtv shekels of silver. 



1 68 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



vanity and pride in apparel, extortion, no justice, but 
many false laws, incest, and adulteries ; many unre- 
venged bloods, a wicked and windy profession. 

" A goodly price'' — Christ speaks as a man to be 
pitied or bemoaned ; like a poor servant beguiled of 
his wages. As if he had said, God kens if I wan it not 
dear. I endured the winter's cold and the summer's 
heat. Many a weary night was I awake when they 
were asleep ; and look at the hire they have given Me ! 
Indeed, a good price that I the Lord was valued at ! 
These worldlings, like Judas, the Scribes, and Pharisees, 
who love the world, and never have a right estimation 
of Christ ; for thirty pieces of silver the kirk-men 
bought and sold Him. If the world be great in your 
books, Christ has then lost court* in your hearts ; for 
faith and a good conscience die and live together. 
Make once a hole in a good conscience, and bring in 
the world into your hearts, and ye shall see faith sink 
very soon. I wish men saw with two eyes here, that 
the world is a golden hammer to break religion in 
pieces, and that it breaks down the kirk walls. For what 
has overturned Christ and religion but men's love of 
the world, court, and honour. Go over to Rome, and 
see how they love God, who make golden kirks and 
golden images their religion. They have riches and 
fat benefices, and therefore they have put a tongue 
in Purgatory's mouth to cry, Money, Money. They 
love honour well, and therefore their doctrine cries, 
A Pope above all kings and emperors in worldly 
glory. And because the second commandment 
speaks against their images, they have shut it out 
as a servant. Men see not their court. t and the world 
can put a lie in their consciences, and cause them to 

* Favour and influence. t Interest. 



COMMUNION SERMONS 



169 



believe black is white, and idolatry is a thing indif- 
ferent. Would ye know the cause of it ? (but men 
will not believe it). When once the affections are 
passionate, and when therefore the truth comes into 
the soul of men of corrupt minds and affections, it is 
like good wine put into old bottles : our hearts sour 
the truth. Or, like a beautiful stranger coming into 
a very smoky house, who is all bleared and blackened 
to-morrow. And why? God's truth charges us to 
bow to it, and to deny our own wills, and lusts ; and 
yield obedience to it. But when men's affections are 
poisoned with their lusts, they change the law to say 
as they say, and wrest, patch, and make religion, and 
the truth, as a wide shoe to suit their foot : or as a 
coat with a wide bosom, that they may take both re- 
ligion and their lusts into it. Hence the adulterer will 
not bow his back to the seventh commandment ; he 
would have it get a back-blow with his hammer, that 
it might crook and bow to his lusts. And the cove- 
tous man, because he will not be reformed, would wish 
a reformation on the tenth commandment. The fool's 
poisoned heart says, God will not bow to him, there- 
fore he gives his conscience a back-throw, till it take 
the cramp again : and then he says in his heart. There 
is no God. And do we not see it so this day? 
Religion goes straight, and the truth of God takes 
even out at the gate : but men's hearts are upon 
policy, state, benefices, honour, and court ; therefore 
they would cast religion in a pair of moulds and give 
it a back-throw, to cause it go halting and clinsing^ 
after the world. And if Christ would say and do, as 
the lulers of the people would have Him, He should 
not be crucified. 

* CrippUng. So used in old Gawin Douglas. 



170 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



'^ Thai J was valued at :'^ which I the Lord Jesus, 
Jehovah, who brake the staves, of beauty and 
bands, was vakied at. — This is clear in the 13th verse, 
and in Matt, xxvii. 8, 9. It is the man, Christ, whom 
Judas sold, for Matthew cites the text : but he says 
that it was cited by the prophet Jeremiah. Now, the 
text is here in Zechariah : and there is not such a 
place in Jeremiah ; therefore it is like that Zechariah 
was also called Jeremiah. For it was ordinary for the 
Jews to have two names ; and especially because 
Zechariah and Jeremiah come both from the same 
fountain in the Hebrew : and they have both one 
signification ; and both in our language signify, a man 
exalting God. 

But here the thing I would be at against the 
blinded Jews. Zechariah says, Jehovah was valued 
at thirty pieces of silver. Matthew says, the Son of 
man was valued at thirty pieces. So these two are one 
and the same person; which is a clear proof that 
our Mediator is both Jehovah, God Almighty, and 
also a betrayed Man, for thirty pieces of silver. The 
Jews might have remembered this prophecy when 
they gave thirty pieces of silver for Christ, and before 
their eyes it was cast down in the Lord's house, and 
by themselves made use of, to buy the Potter's field. 
So then, Christ is God and man (the Jews will not 
have Him, let us take Him) ; for thus it behoved the 
work of our redemption to be a mixed work, coming 
from two natures. Then take Him as sib^ to you: 
Christ, God-man, is all beauty and fair to behold. 

Two things commend a wife, a sweet smell, and a 
fair colour. Christ-man smells of love, as sib to us ; 
and Christ-God is all beauty and fairness itself, to 

* Closely related. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 171 



behold. A precious stone, for beauty and colour : 
and also for the rareness of it, most excellent. So 
then in everything Christ is excellent. For the God- 
head and manhood are like two men lifting a dead man 
out of the water, and each of them lifts to the other's 
hands. For the manhood draws dead and condemned 
men from under sin and wrath, and the God-head 
lends strength, and holds out an arm to the manhood 
to do it. The manhood prays, is sad, hungry, thirsty, 
cold, wear}', dies, and suffers God's anger. The God- 
head stands it out as a back-friend,"^ lifting and bear- 
ing up the manhood, under that great work, at that 
great day of law, when our action is called. The God- 
head backed Christ, and convoyed Him to the bar of 
God's justice, where He answers for it. The God-head 
cannot suffer : the manhood suffered, the God-head 
being overclouded, yet so as it broke the force of the 
stroke, by doing and supporting. As an arrow shot 
at a brazen wall, the point of it is broken and driven 
back. So the arrow of God's indignation went through 
Christ, soul and body, and made Him heav}^ unto 
death : but the God-head, like a brazen wall, brake 
the point of the arrow, and held up the man, 
Christ. 

This was a rare work, strange and uncouth f to see. ! 
The angels marvelled to see God stand. The God-head 
stood to ward off the Lord's arrows shot against the 
holy child Jesus. And never a hole that the arrows 
had made in Christ-man but the God-head was aye at 
hand, immediately to pour in balm, and fill it up in 
the very moment of suffering. And as Christ-man 
was burnt in His soul, the God-head held a well of 
faitli, comfort, hope and courage to His head to drink 

* At his back to help, t Uncommon ; extraordinary. 



1 7 2 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



His fill. For Christ ever believed, and still hoped, and 
prayed in faith. 

Then, beHevers, count heaven a precious thing that 
was so dear bought. Here was an uncouth wonderful 
yoking* for it ! Then fy upon thee, if thou sell it for 
clay and swinish lusts. The thing that Christ wan 
with His sweet life, wilt thou slip from it like a knot- 
less thread ? Alas ! I see men have not the estima- 
tion of salvation that Christ had. He gave much for 
it : they cast it at the cocks for a penny, for a feather. 
The young heir knows not how hard the conquestt was 
to his poor father ; who was soon up, and late up, and 
ventured through ihe seas, and was shipwrecked thrice, 
and taken with Turks and Pirates. So we are but 
young daft heirs, and know not how dear Christ bought 
our inheritance. He wanted the night's sleep for it ; 
it cost Him many a weary and heavy heart : yea He 
swimmed the salt sea of the Lord's wrath for it. 

7. ^' And I took the thirty pieces, and cast them to the 
potter.'^ — To buy a field with, for beggars and strangers; 
for the Jews would not have the uncircumcised buried 
with them. See ye not how Satan served Judas. He 
sought in his heart how to betray Christ. Satan said 
to him, Thou servest a hungry master. Wilt thou put 
Him in a purse, and get something from the high 
priest for Him that will do thee good ? Judas does 
so. And now, when Judas got it, it burns his con- 
science and he throws it from him, and it is cast to 
the potters to buy a field. What gets Judas' heirs and 
executors of his thirty pieces? First, he makes a dog's 
testament ; then he leaves nothing to his heirs. Many 
a purse gotten with selling Christ is casten to the 
potters : strangers and beggars get it. Then look to 

* Setting to ; undertaking. + The acquisition of the estate. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



173 



court, honour, and benefices, and estates gotten with 
the selh'ng of Christ, if they thrive to the third heir. 
Many earldoms, and lordships that come this way will 
be casten to the potter's field. Satan filled Judas' head 
and heart ^vith hope when he tempted him; now when 
he casts away the money, he gives him the cheat for 
his bishopric : he would laugh him to scorn. For, 
when Judas was conscience sick, he would not come 
and hold his head. I think Satan is like a lown, or 
sporter, who has put in his finger among ashes, where 
there is fire, and burneth himself, and, tempting, 
he says to his neighbour. It is not hot ; and makes 
him put in his hand, till he is burnt, and cries ; and 
then he laughs, and says, Good speed. The devil has 
burnt his hand with sin, and he says to Judas, and 
others, It is not hot, put in your hand and feel. And 
when they are scalded, and cry, and cast away the 
thirty pieces of silver, he but laughs at then-. Nay, 
I have now mind how Jacob took Esau at the right 
time, when he was dying for hunger : he would not 
give him a soup of his pottage till he sold him his 
birth-right. Satan, finding men dying for hunger 
after the world, court, and riches, he makes them 
trow* they shall get nothing, unless they sell their 
birth-right. And when Satan once gets them in a 
right mood, and to lust after the world ; hence, he 
gets them to sell their birth-right for sin. But, believe 
me, ye but burn your lips with the devil's pottage ; 
when ye quit Christ and your birth-right for sin. 
Ye but scrape, and draw together for the potter's 
field. Ay, but stay till it come to Saul's and Judas' 
case, in the hinder end of the day. When a house 
takes fire, it is not long in going to all the corners 

' Suppose ; believe. 



174 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



thereof. So if ye sell your birth-right to Satan, sin, 
and the world ; when death comes, the fire of hell 
will kindle in your conscience, till all be in a flame ; 
and ye will not get water to quench it. O then, take 
heed, and beware of Satan's flatteries, sin's vain plea- 
sures, and the world's deceitful allurements : for they 
are all but empty nothings, a matter of mere moon- 
shine. It is storied of men going over to Italy and 
selling their goods to wizards, and getting, as they 
supposed, chest-fulls of gold : and when they came 
home and opened their chests they had nothing 
but a number of round slate stones, and were all 
beguiled. So, in believing the world, Satan, and sin, 
you can meet with nothing but deception. Ken 
ye not that the devil, the world, and sin, can all 
cog"^ the dice, and promise gold, while all is but 
mere nothings, empty shadows, and worse than slate 
stones ? 

Now, I pray and beseech you, by the mercies of 
God, by the blood of the eternal covenant, by the 
price of your souls' redemption, by the salvation of 
your immortal souls, and by your compearing naked 
and bare before the judge of the quick and the dead ; 
cast this world and sin over behind your backs. 
Hate and abhor every sin, whether in yourselves 
or others, and go up through this world leaning 
upon Christ, keeping your eye fixed upon Him, as 
your only safety. The Lord bless His word to you. 
Amen. 

* Load the dice so as to cheat in playing. 



SERMON VIII." 

And they say uuio her^ Woman, why zueepest thou ? She saith 
unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I 
kncnu not where they have laid Him, qt^c. — John xx. 13, 14, 
15, 16, 17, 18. 

HERE \^ first a conference betwixt Mary Magda- 
lene and the angels who had watched Christ's 
grave, and been witness of His resurrection (verse 13) 
Then she turneth from them, and lights upon Christ 
and knows Him not. 

Second. A conference betwixt Mary and Christ 
while she knew not that it was He (verse 14, 15), 
A person may believe in Christ, and yet not have 
the assurance thereof. They may have true faith in 
Him, and yet not the sensible assurance of His love. 

Third, A conference betwixt Christ and her, after 
knowing Him, all full of comfort. The Lord allowethf 
comfort to His people after a time of mourning. 
" Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comedi 
in the morning" (Psalm xxx. 5). 

Mary Magdalene comes first to the grave, and 
meets with Christ : for He had dispossessed her of 
seven devils, and she loved much, because many sins 
were forgiven her. We are ready to count sin and 
Satan a sweet possession as long as we have them ; 

* Preached in the evening at Anwoth Communion, 1634. 
t Gives an allowance of. 



1 7 6 COMiMUXIO.V SERMONS, 



but when Christ taketh these from us, we loathe 
them, and rejoice in Him and His mercy. 

" Why weepest thoicV — There is no envying of the 
angels at her desire after Christ. They are glad that 
sinners are sick of love for their well beloved. Mary 
had cause to rejoice, and not to weep : for Christ's 
rising should be as a napkin to wipe all tears from 
sinners' faces. *^ 

Doctrine. We have foolish and vain affections, 
poisoned with sin : we weep when we should laugh, 
and laugh when we should weep. The disciples 
should have rejoiced, because He said, " I go to the 
Father." It was a blessed way for them. He was 
going to prepare a lodging-house for them ; but they 
were afraid, and had sorrow of heart for His way- 
going. Some think He feeds not His people in His 
absence : nay, but let me say it, God indeed not only 
feeds His own people with sense of presence, but also 
with absence. When the moon is under a cloud, and 
the Lord is away, the desire groweth, and the hunger 
and thirst after Him increaseth, which is a good evi- 
dence. We often mistake our Lord, and are really 
going forward, when we apprehend we are going 
backward. 

" Why zveepest thou r — The angels could teach this, 
That Christ's rising from the dead is matter of joy. 
Christ seeing John falling down before Him for fear 
(Rev. i. 17, 18), laid His right hand upon him, 
saying, "Fear not; I am the first and the last; I 
am He that liveth, and was dead ; and, behold, I 
am alive for evermore, Amen." (Psalm cxviii. 24), 
"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we 

* He has a sermon on Rev. xxi. 4, which has the title, ** Christ'' s 
Napkin.'' 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



177 



will rejoice and be glad in it." (Acts xiii. 32, 33), 
"And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that 
the promise which was made unto the fathers, God 
hath fulfilled the same unto us, their children in 
that He hath raised up Jesus again." Therefore, 
Christ, after His resurrection, said unto His disciples, 
" Peace be unto you. It is I, be not afraid.'' All is 
well ; seeing *^ He was delivered for our offences, and 
was raised again for our justification " (Rom. iv. 25). 
Just as if Christ should say. You and I have won the 
action ; be glad and come out, all is paid. " Because 
I live, ye shall live also." Wo* and cold would our 
comfort have been for ever, if death had arrested 
Christ in the grave. It is an uncouthf cold bed to go 
into death's dark pit never to come out again : they are 
all lodged there for ever. It is a miserable house ; 
the inner chamber is the king of terrors : yea, black 
hell, hell and the lake that burneth with fire and 
brimstone. But the Lord, in His resurrection, hath 
triumphed over death and hell, and delivered all His 
elect people from this grievous curse that they were 
lying under, in being heirs of hell. Therefore our 
Lord's coming out of prison is a relieving all His 
children. Think now (if we may make the supposition) 
ye see a poor man with one or two bairns on his back, 
wading a deep water; he is like to drown, and the 
bairns cr}ing for fear, and he cries to them. Hold your 
tongue, my bairns, and I shall warrant you ; and then 
when he comes out, he wipes all their faces. So 
Christ in the grave had all the children that His 
Father gave Him legally hanging about His neck, 
and in His arms. Our heaven, and all our writs and 
charters, all our salvation, was in the grave with Him. 

^ Miserable. t Strange. 



178 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



" Mary answered, They have taken a^uay my Lord, 
and I knoiv not where they have laid Hhnr — Have I 
not good cause to weep ? May I not be permitted to 
weep my fill ? They have carried away my Christ from 
me. We see then two things in her. They have taken 
away my Christ. He is dead, and they have borne 
Him to another place, and I wot not where he is : but 
yet howbeit He be away, He is viy Lord, The Note 
then is this : 

Dead Christ, as ye think ; a hidden, and a frowning 
Christ may be thy Christ, and viy Christ, (Isaiah 
xlix. 14) '' But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, 
and my Lord hath forgotten me." Then a forsaking 
God may be Zion's God. When faith and fainting are 
wrestling a fall together, faith keeps a hank"^ of Christ 
in its own hand. Faith can say, Christ is not dead, 
albeit there be a hundred miles betwixt Him and me; 
yet He is my Christ, '' my Lord, and my God." The 
child of God may be driven from many holds, and 
from the faith of his rising again from the dead, 
and from the faith of many sweet promises, and, 
fainting and doubting, may slander Christ, and say. 
He is unkind and away : but there is aye an hold to 
the fore,t and faith says, "He is my God." Like a cap- 
tain besieged when there are many walls battered down 
to him, and the enemy has taken in mickle ground 
about him, and taken all the outer works, yet there is 
aye one castle untaken and to the fore that cannot be 
taken. 

They say. The hold that a dying man gets of a 
thing, he keeps it till death. The dead-hold that a 
child of God gets of Christ it keeps for ever. It is 
good if we can stick to Christ any way, either dead 

* A tie of connection. t A fortress still in existence. 



COMMUNIOK SERMONS, 179 



Christ or living Christ, whether kend Christ or un- 
kend Christ, we must still keep something, or we lose 
all. Let us keep a hold of the hand that strikes us, 
and kiss it, if w^e cannot get His face and neck to kiss. 

We count little of Christ wlien we have our fill of 
Him, and w^hen He is living, but stay until hunger 
come, and then ye would give a world for His dead 
body. There is such a hunger in Mary Magdalene 
that she would be glad even to have dead Christ in 
her arms ! She thinks it is better than nothing ! Mary 
seeks no better than to have her arms full of dead 
Christ. 

Sometimes we let good meat spill, and count little 
of it ! We think Httle of His company at Com- 
munions : there is a day coming, wherein ye shall 
be bl)1;h"^ of a small crumb of Christ's bread. Were ye 
hungry, as may be ye wall w^hen this board is drawn : 
ye shall be blyth of a touch of the hem of His gar- 
ment and a kiss of His feet. Little ken ye what it is 
to want. (Lam. i. 16), "'For these things I weep : 
mine eye, mine eye runneth down w^ith waiter, because 
the Comforter that should relieve my soul is far from 
me." I trow^ that was no bairn's play. (Psalm Ixxvii. 
3), ^^1 remembered God, and was troubled," how in 
former times He embraced me, and loved me ; but 
now He has left me, and I know not w^hat to do. " I 
complained, and my spirit was overw^helmed." Wliat 
is that? ''I remembered God, and was troubled." 
Should it not rather have been, I remembered God, 
and leaped for joy? Nay, I remembered God, He 
that once remembered me, and loved me, but now He 
has left me, and I knov/ not what to do ! At such a 
time a blink of God, howbeit it were as short as a 

* Glad to gQt» 



l8o COMMUNION SERMONS, 



flash of fire in the air, it were half a heaven. It were 
good we were all at Mary's part of it, " They have 
taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have 
laid Him." 

She says, " I k?iow not where they have laid Him.^^ 
' — A sore matter to lose Christ : but a sorer matter 
not to know w^here to find Him. It is a trial both to 
want Christ, and not to know where to find Him. 
Says the spouse, " Saw ye Him whom my soul loveth ? 
If ye find Him, tell Him I am sick of love." Some- 
times it will be that the children of God will seek 
Him in many wynds," and not find Him in prayer, in 
the word, nor at the holy table, nor in reading, nor in 
conference. They will, as it were, follow Christ from 
place to place, and not know where to find Him ; they 
know not where He is. 

"/ hnow not where they have laid HimT — She 
believed that Christ was yet dead, and this was her 
ignorance and infidelity ; for He had often told them 
that He would rise again, but they believed Him 
not. Then we see that there is ignorance even with 
a good and hearty affection to Christ, in God's chil- 
dren. In Cant. v. 5, there we see a church both sleep- 
ing and wrestling at once. Nicodemus loved Christ's 
company, yet there was great ignorance in him. The 
Lord's disciples followed Him, and yet they were fools 
and slow of heart to believe the Scriptures (Luke xxiv. 
25). Our soul is like a harp, wherein there is a broken 
or mistuned string ; our mind and our affections are 
like a broken or lame leg. We have some light in the 
mind, but our affections are cold like lead. And when 
the affections are blown upon by the wind ot the 
Spirit, the mind and memory both may have the 

* Out of the way streets. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. i8i 



truant sickness; nay, if God yoke them not all, and 
drive them up the furrows, some piece or other will 
lie back like a lazy ox. There is aye a crook or halt 
in us, so that we go crooked to heaven, as Jacob did. 
But a sound, hearty affection, even an ounce of it, is 
worth a stone weight of dim light. Alas ! This age 
hath light, but it is barrelled up. We start all up to 
be professors ! but few have the furniture for heaven. 
God forbid, that I should discourage any, but I see 
men contenting themselves with too little; some light, 
and w^eak love, to the word, and the preacher, and 
still their old sins and old jog-trot'"' is kept ; and as 
dead in practice and reformation of life as they were 
ten years ago, and some of them worse. Now in the 
name and authority of the Son of God, try that it be 
good sufficient work; see that it be stamped and 
sealed with Christ's arms. 

" She turned herself about J ^ — I see the angels cannot 
help a w^ounded conscience that has lost a hold of 
Christ (Cant. iii. i, 2, 3). The watchmen could not 
lead the church to Christ, unto Him whom her soul 
loved. Nay, in prayer sometimes He cannot be gotten, 
(Psalm xxii. 2), '^ O my God, I cry in the daytime, but 
thou hearest not : and in the night season, and am not 
silent.'' What meant the prophet's dry throat, and 
yet could not get God? Job says, chap. xiii. 24, 
God hideth His face. In the Word there is often such 
deadness that the child of God cannot win to his feet : 
and they may wonder who have seen and had the ex- 
perience of defection. Will ye not say. When God 
iays His finger on the soul, and breaks a string of the 
conscience, what means will be used to get a knot on 
this broken string, and to get the broken bone knit 

Slow and slovenly pace. 



1 82 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



again ? 1 grant you God (in prayer) has been found, 
but I am speaking of a presence, or of an access to a 
blink of Christ ; I have experience to say with me, and 
I knew it of late. Wot ye that presence and comfort 
is sweet meat, and not for Christ's bairns' ordinary food? 
There is a time or tide when the wind bloweth where 
it listeth, even after the use of means. Christ will come, 
and there is but deadness in the meantime, when ye 
can neither feel, see, nor hear Christ. Then ye may 
say. What shall we do, if means prevail not ? 

Aiiswer, I know no child of God, who is ever in 
such a case, as they can neither hear, see, nor feel. 
The sleeping Church has a waking heart (Cant. v. i). 
Grace to miss Christ is some feeling, hearing, and see- 
ing. Those who are in Saul's case (i Sam. xxviii. 15), 
who said, '^ I am sore distressed, the Lord is departed 
from me," are in a sad taking : but the children of God 
may blame themselves, w^ho are in the exercise of con- 
science seeking comfort and do not find it. I say I 
forbid not but that they pray, hear, read ; yea, use all 
means for it ; but I w^ould have them doing two things. 

1. That ye would continue to cry, look heaven's 
height, and be very impatient till you get your rights 
and a new stamp. Sleep not, eat not, rest not, until 
He come agam. Complain, fret, make haste, long, and 
hunger, for Christ. Look up as if ye were angry at 
the clouds that hide Him and hinder you to see 
Him. Shall one bid men fall asleep who have lost 
Christ? 

2. Yet be very patient and submissive, binding Him 
to no time or manner of coming. (Psalm xl. i), "I 
waited patiently on the Lord, and He inclined His 
ear, and heard my cry." Then David both cried, and 
shouted, and yet had patience. Is a shouting and cry- 
ing man a patient man ? I say he is, 2 Peter, iii. 12. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 183 



Wait on and hasten to the day of the Son of God. 
See if I He. 

^^ And saiu jFesiis and kneio Him notP — As in the 
body seeing and hearing went out, so in the soul we 
may see Christ, and not know Him. Many have hght, 
as sick men have meat at their bedside, but cannot use 
it. But here is the matter; at every new meeting 
we misken-'' Christ. While your soul is sick, and 
while He kens not you, the acquaintance is aye to 
make over again. He must blow the coal ; Christ's 
hot head must warm our cold ones, and His living 
hand must hold our dead hands and quicken them, 
and then we begin to stir our fingers, and to take hold 
of Him. But if Christ be but three days away, we are 
to begin at A B C again. He left Peter but a while 
of a day or night, and Peter forsook Him, and never 
repented till the Lord looked a loving look to him 
that awakened him. He turned a little from His dis- 
ciples and they forsook Him and fled, and never wan 
to their feet again till He reproved them for their 
infidelity and opened their hearts. He knows a 
weak sheep fallen into a pit or hole that cannot win 
out itself. Christ aye looseth the fankledf lamb, bleat- 
ing and bleeding in the thorny bush. A bow can- 
not bend itself, a man's arm must do it ; it cannot 
shoot itself, a hand must put the arrow on the string, 
and draw and loose it. So ye must learn the gate| to 
heaven. It is a borrowing life we have here ! We are 
aye falling, and Christ is aye setting us to our feet 
again ! I see Christ must be cumbered in leading us 
the right gate to heaven. I think I have mind of an 
old crazy barque, each dash it gets on a rock it falls out 
in a hole, and new timber must be put in ; and the 

* Mistake; misapprehend, t Tied up. j The way. 



1 84 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



next day it gets another dash, and a whole board falls 
out, and a new board must be put in again. This is 
like our conscience, this crazy soul of ours, having 
rotten timber in it. A dash of desertion for three 
days makes a crack in Mary Magdalene's soul, that 
she sees Christ, and sees Him not ! David dashed 
against a rock of lust, and falls out in a wide rent of 
adultery and murder. Peter's old barque gets a knock 
of fear, and he falls out in denial of his Lord. The 
Lord's fore-hammer lighted upon the disciples, and 
they fall out with a love of honour and ease here ; and 
they fall out in a great rent, and think He shall make 
them great men in the world, and restore again the 
kingdom to Israel. I tell you Christ must aye be 
putting in new timber till all be made new work, for 
Christ will take old Adam's rotten timber out of us, 
and mickle work it is to make this old crazy con- 
science new, that is like to fall to flinders.* 

yesiis saith to her, Woman, why weepest thou V^ — 
What needs Christ question thus ? Why should Christ 
ask at a broken-hearted woman, seeking none but 
Christ, Why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? 
Ye know a father will be minded to give an apple to 
his bairn, and he will say, holding it out, Will ye have 
that ? Ye know He said to a poor man, " Wilt thou 
be made whole ?" There may be some souls longing 
for Him this day, and yet He say. My dear people, 
tell ]\Ie Avhom ye would have, and whom seek ye? 
See here, there was a fault in her desire ; she sought 
a dead Christ, or His dead body, and He would have 
her to seek a living Christ. And therefore, look, when 
ye are seeking Christ, that there be not a fault in your 
desire ; ye are perhaps serving yourselves when ye are 

* Pieces; shivers. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 185 



seeking Him. Ye are all seeking comfort, and He 
perhaps brought you here to hear nothing but convic- 
tion, and to humble your proud hearts. When we are 
seeking God, and our affections opened, the devil can 
shute'^' in his arm to the shoulder blades, and cast in 
a handful of his drafff and spoil the mask. J Who 
would think that a woman weeping for Christ was 
wrong? and yet she knows not whom she seeketh? 
Yea, at Communions, let me ask, for Christ's sake, 
whom ye are seeking ? Ye will say, Christ. I say, 
Would to God it Avere so. I will have nothing, says 
one, but comfort. I will have nothing, says another, 
but a soft heart. And a third comes because it is the 
fashion ! I will ask at these souls. Whom seekest 
thou ? Painted hypocrite ; plastered, rotten, dis- 
sembler, thou art seeking the devil and condemnation 
to thyself. 

^^ She supposing Him to he the Gardener,^^ — Her 
mind was confounded with sorrow and infidelity in 
her heart, and the Lord held her eyes that she kend 
not Christ to be Christ ; and yet Christ looked more 
heavenly-like than He wont to do. 

Doctrine. Then a child of God may be speaking 
to Him, and not ken Him. Alas ! we often measure 
Him by our own foot ! So Job takes the Lord to be 
a changed Lord, another God to him, and one that 
w^as turned to be his enemy ! And so did Jonah, 
Jeremiah, Elijah, Habakkuk, &c., in their wrestlings. 
For infidelity is a thick mask upon men's eyes ; and 
who are they whom Satan will not blindfold? He 
would have put a mask upon Christ's eyes, and put 
all the world's glory betwixt Him and His Father ! but 
Christ saw through the mask. And Satan would have 



' Thrust in. t Refuse dregs. X The infusion; the brewing. 



1 86 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



laid court, honour, and pleasures of sin before Moses' 
eyes, but God rent the mask, and he looked to the 
recompense of reward. The devil laid gold over 
Balaam's eyes. Has not that trumpet of Rome made 
Christ the gardener ? There is no Christ in question 
or request now but that which rides in Parliament ! 
They have put silks * on Christ and His Kirk, and 
they will not wear them. I pray you cast off the 
devil's hoods and his masks, and seek from Christ 
the salve, to see Christ to be Christ. 

" Tell me where thou hast laid Himr — What a lift 
would this corpse have been? Would not dead 
Christ, His grave clothes, and an hundred pound 
weight of myrrh and aloes, that was laid upon His 
body, have been a heavy lift to a woman ? Six stone 
weight or more? Yet Mary says she would bear 
Him hence, nay, though she could not, she would 
taket a lift of Him till her back cracked, and her arm 
guard had been out of Hth,t but she would have had 
Him. 

Doctrine. I.ove has strong broad shoulders : the 
high mountains and the heavy burdens will not tire 
love. Love will never sweat, faint, nor fall in a swoon, 
for God helpeth love. Love is as strong as death, or 
the grave (Cant. viii. 6). Get love, and no burden 
Christ will lay on you will be heavy. Were not the 
martyrs fraughted§ with love when heavy death and 
burning quick did not weight them when it was laid 
on them ? But love made them run up the moun- 
tains with death and tortures on their back ! Lay 
all hell upon a soul that has love to Christ, he 
will run with the burden. Seek and get love, and it 

* And these are things which Christ and His Church reject, 
t Try to lift Him. % Joint. § Freighted. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 187 



will make you bear sufferings : for love will not burst 
at the broad side. Came not Moses from the court, 
with his back laden with affection to the people of 
God, and tired not ? 

*' yesus saith unto her, Mary^ — See Christ calleth 
upon Mary by her name. Thus it is no dry general 
acquaintance that Christ has with His own. As ye 
use to say, It is hard to know such a man, but I have 
seen him. Nay, but Christ knows all His sheep by the 
head. (Luke xix. 5), *^ Jesus looked up, and said. Come 
down, Zaccheus, make haste and come down, for to- 
day I must abide at thine house." (See John i. 48), 
" Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast 
under the fig-tree, 1 saw thee." (John x. 14), " I am 
the 'good Shepherd, I know My sheep." This be- 
hoved to be Christ, He is not such a rash merchant, 
but He saw His wares, and kend them all by their 
names ere He laid down a price for them. Nay, God 
brought them all before Him, and said. By their 
dwellings and names take them ; and I will give the 
ends of the earth for Thy inheritance. He shall get 
all beyond the river (Zeph. iii. 10), the dispersed of 
Judah, &c. (Isaiah vi. 10). All these are His. The 
Father hath said. Son, Ye shall not work for nothing. 
What think Ye of your wares ? how please your goods 
and mine ? And His Father gave Him a fair roll of 
ail their names, by the head, man and woman, as 
particularly as He had named them, John, Thomas, 
Mary, &c. And the whole flock was marked. As 
when a man out of a great flock selleth so many 
sheep, and sets them by for the merchant; he lets 
him see his wares, and he puts his mark upon 
them. So the world, even all mankind, was a great 
flock before God, and the Father gave Christ the 



1 88 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



pick* of the market. And He chose so many out of the 
flock, and bargained with Him for them. And the 
Father toldf them all over to the Son, a fair num- 
ber of bairns, saying, Take them, Son ; but ye shall 
pay dear for them. And they were all of God's 
mark and Christ's mark together; and Christ kens 
what fields they go in ; and He has them booked, 
and calls them, and puts the Mediator's name on 
them — the new name, even His mark. So here is the 
reason why, of two or three thousand in one kirk to- 
gether where the word is preached, Christ calls out 
one man by name, and the other by name. I trow it 
is because here is Christ's bought wares. He is up in 
the count. The Father must keep condition with 
Christ, for He got arles| (as you say) in Abel's days, and 
He must keep remembrance of all His sheep. But 
ye will say, Alas ! Christ has forgotten me. Well, be- 
ware of that. Will ye say the Father has miscounted 
a sheep, and Christ has lost a sheep in the telling ? 
Then He is sleepy and careless. But it is not so. 
This is a sweet thing that He cares for you ; thou art 
up in my books, John, Mary, &c. Ye are up in the 
white roll, and on that condition I give to you myself, 
my flesh and my blood, this day. O then be blythe§ 
man, thou wilt not fall || by in the telling. There is no 
miscount between the Father and the Son, but faithful 
and sicker. If I pray you tell me when heard you 
Christ name you by name ? I tell you when you think 
each promise is spoken to you by name, and when you 
say, Yon is spoken firm. And as when a roll is call- 
ing, each one cries here, "Here," to his own name. 



* The choicest of. t Counted. 

X An earnest ; pledge of what was to cdme. § Glad ; cheery. 

II Be overlooked. ^ Firm ; secure. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 189 



Then when the gospel is preaching, Christ is a calling 
the roll, your soul, with joy beliveth when ye cry, Here, 
here. Lord Jesus. Therefore take good tent when ye 
hear your own names called, and answer them. 

'' She saith unto Him, Rabbo?ii.^' — Thereby acknow- 
ledging herself Christ's scholar, and Christ to be her 
master. 

Obsef-ve. Here is but a short preaching that Christ 
makes. He says but one word, Mary : but it is 
more than a word ; and Mary presently knows. So 
soon as ever Christ speaks, the kirk saith, " It is the 
voice of my beloved ! '' A wife who has wanted her 
husband seven years, when He returns she hears his 
tongue in the closs, and shouts and cries, Its my dear 
husband's tongue, and comes out to meet him. " It 
is I, be not afraid " (Matt. xiv. 27). And they kend His 
tongue, and presently received Him into the ship. 
Christ may learn us all to preach ; for one of His 
preachings is worth a horse-load of our preachings; He 
has the tongue of the learned indeed. With His 
mouth He can blow up iron doors. Well kens He all 
the back-springes** and double locks of the soul, and 
how Satan has need-nailedf the door. Christ has the 
way of it, and can draw the bolt with His voice. So 
then when Christ cometh and speaketh. He brings 
His word with Him. When the devil comes he has 
a dumb knock; he raps but will not speak. He 
cannot bring the word with him, or it is a hollow 
earthly voice and harsh, aye crying, Clay, clay ! court, 
honour, the world, your lusts, your fill ! This is not 
like Christ's tongue. An image speaks not ; the 
dumb ceremonies have not a tongue ; they speak not 
to the soul ; they have a dead knock. I shall be an- 

* A springe is a gin, or snare made of wire, t Strongly nailed. 



190 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



swerable when they come you shall break your heart 
and say, Yon is not Christ's tongue. 

'' Rabbo?7iy — Mary had been seekmg a dead Christ, 
and thought He had not been risen ; and she gets a 
living Christ. Doct7'ine. No man ever went to seek 
Christ in a right way, but he got more than he sought ! 
The woman of Canaan sought a crumb under the board 
with the dogs ; but ere Christ and she parted, I trow 
He set her at the boardhead above all Israel. 

The forlorn"^ son came home, and he would be no- 
thing but a servant; he craved but to stand at the 
by-board. He speaks but of dry-bread; he spake not 
of whole clothes ; but his Father put on him the best 
robe, and a ring on his finger, and killed the fatted 
calf, and set him at the high board, and at the first 
mess. " He is able to do exceeding abundantly 
above all that we ask or think, according to the power 
that worketh in us " (Eph. iii. 20). 

Now ye hear us speak of Christ ; ye come to seek 
Him; ye think there is much in Him. Come and 
see, and taste, and ye shall feel that there is a hun- 
dred thousand degrees more ! See then that you 
make an errand to Christ, for a sick bairn, for a 
weak body, for a troubled friend; and ye shall get 
more than ye seek ! Ken ye not that poor folks are 
glad to get an errand to a hall-house ?t If they can 
make an errand they ken they will find plenty there ! 
Christ is a hall-house : go to Him. 

" Jesics sayeth 7into her, Touch Me notT — Matthew 
says, the women held Him by the feet ; and no ques- 
tion Mary was hanging about His neck to kiss Him, 
and would have thrust Him into her heart. But 
Christ says, " Touch Me not." Alas ! (might she 

* Lost prodigal. t The mansion of a rich man. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



191 



think) what means this ? Ye may wonder what ails 
Him at the poor woman ! Trow ye Christ was grown 
lordlier? Was He more lordly than He was, because 
He was risen and glorified in part? Or, will lordships 
change manners with Him ? No. Its true He forbids 
her ; it was a fault in her seeking to touch Him ; she 
doated too much on His bodily presence; and thought 
He had come up again to live on the earth, and to 
eat and drink \sdth publicans and sinners as He was 
wont to do. But He will not feed her foolish love ; 
Christ would have wise love. Ye are aye craving 
sense, joy, comfort. Look if that be wise love of 
yours, and that ye serve not always your pleasure, 
and delight in Christ, but not for Christ Himself. I 
say, seek yourself in Christ and your joy ; but not for 
yourself. I pray you mark this; we are beguiled often 
in our seeking of Christ, for Christ here would be at 
another thing. 

" Touch vie7iot^ I am not yd asceiided^^ 8zc. — It is as 
much as to say. When I go to heaven and send do^Mi 
the Holy Ghost upon thee, thou shalt then touch Me 
by faith thy fill : but now hold thy hand, hold thee 
by that thou hast. When, I say, Christ, for causes 
kno^^Tl to Himself, will give you no aumus,^ nill ye, 
will ye, then ye should not be in a marvel that ye do 
not see Christ ! Rent not your billsf until I tell you 
Christ will cry to His beggars. Ye will not be served 
at this time. 

Take an Answer. Now, I come to answer expe- 
rience here. Will ye not pray, and come from God as 
it were with empty wind and nothing? 

Ans'iue?'. Christ said, " Touch Me not :" ye were 
perhaps seeking to play yourself like a bairn with 

* Alms. t Tear not in pieces your petition. 



192 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Christ ; and He will let you know He is Christ. He 
is not a Christ to play bairns with. So after we would 
have joy and comfort in Christ for our pleasure, is 
often as bairns that would have a painted hat to play 
with. Ye think, so soon as ye knock and pray, no 
more should be, but that all heaven's gates should be 
opened or casten up, and that the King will come out 
and meet you immediately, and take you into the 
house of wine, ^"ay, but stay : what haste ? stay, at 
leisure, and ask at your souls what ye are seeking 
when ye seek sense and joy. If ye be not out of your- 
selves, and seek it not for this end, that ye may be 
hearted* to pray, and hearted to go up the mountain 
to heaven, I say, Beware ye find not a closed door : 
and howbeit this were not, beware. "Touch Me not," 
is good and sweet meet for you. Stand and knock, 
and go away, and come again and knock ; and that 
draws out faith in a long and strong thread. And 
that is as good for you as if Christ and you had met 
at first. For know ye that access, feeling, and liberty, 
are graces ? And He will give them but when He 
pleases : and it is best that Christ make delicates of 
such good cheer. 

But what is the best mark then in seeking of Christ? 

Answer. Take Christ anyway : if He be here, it is 
He ; if there, it is He. Be as content with Him with 
tears and down-casting as in tears and joy. Nay, here 
is a second mark — If you can take Him out of hell 
smoking in your arms. But to seek comfort in Christ 
is not to seek Christ, say ye ? I answer. If ye seek 
Christ for comfort, and not comfort for Christ, and joy. 
If ye ask how these are differenced ? I answer, Even 
as the spouse loves the bridegroom, not for his fair 

Encouraged 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 193 



clothes, and gold rings and bracelets, but for himself. 
So must ye seek Christ for Himself, and not Christ for 
comfort. For, I say, Joy and comfort is but the bride- 
groom's jewels ; but the bridegroom himself is better. 
Nay, a convicting and rebuking Christ is no less true 
than a loving Christ ! Then I say, It is not Christ, but 
His love ye would be at. 

" To7uh Me not, for I am not yd ascended to My 
Father.'' — Christ brings His word with a reason; when 
I am ascended into heaven, then ye shall get touching 
Me your fill, wait on till that time. So this is no abso- 
lute nay-say, but a delay. 

Doctrine, There is never one of Christ's refusals, 
but they are mixed with hope ; the seed of faith and 
hope is in them. So He said to the woman of Canaan, 
let the children be first served. There is no refusal, 
but He puts her in hopes that when the Jews had 
gotten their dinner, then the poor woman should get 
the broken meat. Paul, w^hen buffeted, prayed. Christ 
returned the answer, ^'My grace is sufficient for thee.'' 
This was a good answer. When the disciples would 
fain have had Christ abiding with them, He said, Nay, 
but this nay had with it, " But I will come and receive 
you to Myself" Then take not Christ's nay-say at 
the worst ; it is both sweet and comfortable, and His 
strokes there is aye that in them, ^' Ye shall get." Then 
Christ's refusals are comfortable, and His strokes sweet 
and healthful. If we have honest hearts in seeking, 
one way or another God shall comfort us. 

Being now risen from the dead. He says, '' Go, tell My 
brethren^ He would comfort His brethren w^ith this 
comfortable doctrine, letting them see this glory He was 
to be advanced to^ ; it took not away that communion of 
nature that was b ctween Him and them : therefore He 
is not ashamed \o call them brethren. (Heb. ii. 11) 

N 



194 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



We have one God, they and I are halfers together. 
And more than that, we are Father's bairns. God is 
their Father and my Father. So we have one mother; 
for Christ was born of the kirk. '^ Go forth, O ye 
daughters of Jerusalem, and behold King Solomon 
with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him 
in the day of his espousals" (Cant. iii. ii). 

This is Jesus, the King of Peace, named by His 
mother the Kirk. But He was croA\Tied with a crown 
of thorns; and also, crowned by the faithful who made 
Him their King. Then Christ and we are more than 
half brethren, we are full brethren ; for God will have 
no step-bairns. We are native and of kin to Him; all 
the water in the sea will not wash Christ's blood and 
ours asunder, for Christ and we behoved to be more 
than second or third a-kin. For the law's cause, we 
behoved to be as sib* as brethren : and therefore, in 
(Cant. iv. 5) He calls the Kirk His Sister, and delights 
to avow His kindred to her, for Christ will not man- 
sweart the silliest of His kindred. Now by the law, 
the poor brother that had mortgaged his land, had 
power among the Jews to make an assignation of 
his right to his brother, or the nearest of his kin- 
dred : and so might put his brother in the right of 
it. As an oppressed man, who is bereft of his in- 
heritance, and has not moyen nor means to double 
out his matter by law, he makes an assignation of his 
right to his nearest friend or chief, who has means 
and moyen to win the action ; and that friend has it 
also in his power to put the poor oppressed man in 
his place again. So here : no one but God who is 
above law, having given to Christ a body, made Christ 
an assignation to our bloody bond, which the law 

* Nearly related. t Perjure ; break His oath to. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 195 



and the justice of God had against us. And when we ^ 
had forfeit paradise, and could not double out our 
cause, the kind kinsman, Christ-man, was very kindly 
to pardon and come in our room as assignee to His 
poor ruined brethren. And God put into the assig- 
nation whereto Christ's name was borrowed, three 
things. 

First, Our flesh and infirmities as sinless. Secondly, 
All our sins, and whatever followed them. So Christ 
got with us mickle black debt and many cumbers. 
And the cursed bond of the law was removed, and 
Christ was written in the bond accursed, and hanged 
on a tree. And thirdly, Christ was assigned to our 
heaven, and He named it to Him, by us. 
I Then Christ got the law, and we the gospel ; and 
I the assignation was mutual. And this was sweet, for 
Christ made us assignees to His bond, and He was 
assignee to our flesh. He made the work so as we 
should be assignees to His Spirit and His grace, that 
out of His fulness we should receive grace for grace. 
And so by law, Christ's grace is ours, and He puts us 
in His OAvn place, and makes us assignees to His 
glor)\ (Luke xxi. 25), *'I appoint unto you a kingdom, 
as My Father hath appointed unto Me.'* 

Then believers be blythe. You are Christ's execu- 
tors and assignees.* Now that Christ's testament is 
confirmed, inffomet withf His goods, the law will 
warrant you so to do. 

But there is a third thing in Christ's assignation, 
which He will not take well with if ye refuse it. He 
makes His brethren assignees to His cross. Ye will 
start at this, but it is your glory ! In the world ye 
shall have tribulation, or affliction. When ye have 

* Persons to whom possession of property is destined, f Use. 



196 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



subscribed the assignation, the said binds and obliges 
me to suffer for Him. Even for every cuff Christ took 
for you and me (and He got many a blue stroke for 
us), ye must be ready to take a cuff for Him. And 
know ye there was a clause in the end of the assigna- 
tion full of comfort; Christ gives you a back-bond^ 
that the cross will not slay you. Christ says. Brethren, 
I bind and oblige myself I will not leave you father- 
less, I have overcome the world, I will see you again. 

See then how ye are matched. And say not ; In- 
deed it sets us not to be handled this way. But learn 
ye to be like your brother, meek and lowly, and then 
ye may ken ye are brethren. Professors be like Him ; 
ye are come off for Christ's cause. Live holily, for 
fear Christ man-sweart you ; and in judgment say, Ye 
are none of His kindred, " Depart from Me, I know 
you not.'' So, look ; as your brother was but like a 
strange man in the world, so must ye be. Christ will 
deny step-bairns, and illegitimate bastard brethren 
that are not bom again. 

" I asce7td to My Father.^' — He sends His disciples 
word or:|: ever He sees them. He must up to heaven 
for them. And therefore. He forbids them to dream 
of a Christ ever bodily present with them on the earth. 
And therefore they that would have Christ must fol- 
low His trodden path, and trace Him all the gate§ to 
heaven, and they shall find Him there. Ask Him 
out in heaven, at the right hand of the Father. And 
therefore believe His death and resurrection, and so 
stand there, and go no further, nor slip from Christ 
like a knotless thread, and lose His footsteps. But 
we must go after Him to heaven, for where our 

* A bond declaring the person free, t Break His oath to you. 
:;: Before. § Way- 



COMMUNION SERMONS. i^y 



treasure is, there will our heart be also (Matt. vi. 21). 
If ye be risen with Christ, seek the things that are 
above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of the 
Father. For except we sunder* with Christ, we must 
be where He is, and He is now up in heaven. He is 
now up in glory^ and we are all do^\^l in a low valley ; 
for sinners are aye playing at the mouth of the black 
pit, like daft bairns playing at the brink of a deep 
river. And Christ is crying, Come up, come up, after 
Me, lend Me your hand, I will draw you up. O ! 
should He cry. Up with Me ; and we are aye falling 
down upon the clay of this earth. He would have us 
flying to heaven : and we are still creeping upon this 
earth. What will become of the worms, and gathering 
worldlings ? 

A man that must ride forty miles ere night, and ye 
see him drinking at an inn at four o'clock afternoon, 
thirty-nine miles from his journey's end ; ye may think 
he purposes not to be there that night. Is it not after- 
noon with our life? many be here past their twelve 
hours ! And who knows how soon it may fall on 
night ? and many have not gone one mile to heaven ! 
Believe me, many men live as if they had the keys of 
heaven at their belt ; and think to stick in this clay of 
the earth all their days, and leap to heaven at their 
death, at one leap ! Believe me, ye never did leap 
such a leap in your life time ; if ye would be there, its 
high time ye were on horseback already, and in Christ's 
chariot driving and posting to heaven as fast as ye can 
or may. Have ye not furnishing in heaven before you? 
Christ is there, is not your flitting before you ? Then 
up, ye must after Him. Home, home, flee for your 
life, this town ye dwell in, and all about it, will be 

* Separate from. 



198 COMMUNION- SERMOXS. 



burnt with fire (2 Peter iii. 10). Flee then, else ye 
will be burnt if ye stay here. 

See the good word the apostle has (Phil. iii. 20), 
*' Our conversation is in heaven :" our burgess-haunt- 
ing* is in heaven. And when ye would seek a man, 
you must seek hini where he haunts and usually resorts 
to. As if ye seek the drunkard, he haunts amongst the 
barrels ! for he is but a living barrel himself, to fill 
and empty, and to glut up his belly again with a new 
browst !t Would ye know the fleshly man's dwelling, 
where haunts he ? In the whore's chamber ; sits he 
not down at the mouth of hell ? (as says Solomon) is 
he not well neighboured ? The devil and her are 
door neighbours, upon the march together. Would 
ye see where the earthly man haunts, what need you 
ask ? You shall get the worm in the earth among 
clay. Ask where the child of God haunts ? where 
haunts he ? Up in heaven ; the Saviour and He can- 
not be sundrj^i He is climbing on His hands and 
feet to be up. He is ascending and desiring to be 
with Christ. 

Oh ! the devil leads many do\\ai stairs ; and when 
all is done, men get not their prey on the earth. I 
think I see them fishing for baronies, and thousands 
setting their lines and making all their might for 
a draught of fish, and to make up a fair estate to 
them, or theirs. And then I may see the tide, and 
the storm breaking the lines and taking them away, 
and they come home with empty creels like traiked§ 
slippery fishers, both wo|| and slippery, crying, shame, 
ruined ; we have got nothing, but have lost twenty 
pounds worth of nets. So are men undoing their 



* Haunt is to frequent a place or company. t A brewing, 
t Separated. § Worn out. || Sad. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



199 



souls through the storm to seek fishing, and they lose 
their conscience, and a tide of temptation takes their 
conscience from them, and they go home to their 
grave with nothing. And some of them are forced 
to cry, The soul is lost. 

My beloved, in the bowels of Christ, who has given 
His flesh and His blood, and offered it to you this 
day, in the Sacrament of His Supper, let us lift 
our thoughts from off this vain world, and transitory 
things below ; and let us set our heart and affections / 
on things heavenly and divine, trusting in the Lord / 
through the whole of our wilderness journey, and 
inquiring for Him all the way to the very ports and 
gates of heaven. 

We must not attend ordinances for the fashion, 
and according to use and wont (as we say), but for 
His glory, and our own soul's salvation. Nothing is 
to be done here, but upon the footing of divine 
authority. Away, therefore, with all Romish trash, 
will-worship, and superstition, in the service of God ! 
All the trumpery of the Romish harlot ought to have 
no place in the House of God. But not insisting.''^ 

Live soberly, righteously, and godly in your day and 
generation. In the midst of trials and difticulties, 
trust in the Lord, and put your confidence in Him ; 
and there is no fear of an outgate, in the Lord's due 
time and way. Remember, He saith, I ascend to My 
Father, and your Father ; to My God, and your God : 
Follow ye Me. Amen. 



* I do not go farther. 



SERMON IX.'' 

/am come into My gaj-doi^ My sister, My spouse, I have gathered 
My myrrh with My spice, I have eaten My honey -comb with 
My ho7iey, I have drunk My wine with My milk: eat, O 
friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved, ^c, — Song 

V. I, 2, &C. 

BELOVED in our Lord, hitherto in this song 
there has been much love, and few out-casts f 
betwixt Christ and His church. In the beginning of 
this chapter (of which I have read a part unto you), 
according to the Hebrew, I fetch from verse 2, " I 
sleep," &c., that there is an out-cast betwixt Him and 
His church. In other parties there is more love in 
wooing than in the married state : for our love has a 
fair and sweet honey month, while it is green and 
young ; it is like the child's new coat, fairest the first 
day. Our love at length, so far as it is natural, grows 
thread bare, breaks out, and has need of mending. 
However the plain contrary is in the true love betwixt 
Christ and His Church. This militant state is the 
period wherein Christ and His people differ : but 
they shall agree well together in the other life, in 
the triumphant state above. 

This chapter hath three parts, i. The lamentation 
of the Church, that she had offended her dear one, 

* Preached at a Communion in Anwoth, April 5tli, 1637. 
t Quarrels. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 201 



Christ, in holding Him at the door, with His wet 
frozen head in the cold night. For Christ in coming 
to us got a terrible blast out of the north ; the storm 
of God's indignation was in His fair face, and took 
all the skin off it, and made Him a marred visage, as 
it is in Isaiah lii. 14. 

2. There is a conference betwixt the Church and 
her companions about Christ and His worth. In the 
former part, there is the Church's confession of her 
wrong to Christ, and the cause of holding Him at the 
door is set down and exponed. " I sleep, but my 
heart waketh." But I sleep not as carnal men do, 
because my heart, the renewed part, wakes : and 
through my sleep I ken His tongue. And the spirit 
cries to the flesh, Wrong, wrong, it is ill your com- 
mon,"^ to hold out the Son of God. And she plays 
the advocate for Christ against herself : enlarges and 
presses in breadth and length the indignity of the 
wrong done to Him. First. From the testimony of 
her own conscience, in knowing His tongue and dis- 
cerning His knock. Secojid. From reasons that He 
used to move her will to consent : as 

I. Christ's just claim to her; " Aly sister, My love, 
My dove, My nndefiicd.'' — Styles that we deserve not ; 
for when Christ has gotten us with much intreaty, and 
hard war, ill and well as it might be. He has gotten 
but a dirty armful of us. The 2. Reason is, from His 
sufferings: '' Aly head is full of dew T 3. She comes 
to her own backwardness, and carnal shifts. In 
speaking to herself in allusion to the custom of going 
barefooted in those hot countries, and to the wash- 
ing of their feet ere they went to bed ; says she, I 
cannot rise now, and quit my ease. And with confi- 

It ill becomes. 



202 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



dence, she propounds questions to His conscience. 
How can I in this cold night put on my clothes ? how 
can I defile my feet? Be you judge, husband, if this 
be reasonable, that ye should not come in day-light 
before the sun go down. Shall I quit my pleasure, 
how can I do it? Is this possible? Shall I now 
defile my feet again? Is this reasonable? Her 
4. Reason is, from his manner of working in her 
heart ; My well beloved put in His hand by the key- 
hole, and made my heart lively, and warmed it by 
some bestirring motions : and O ! unhappy I, who 
would not rise and open to Him. Her 5. Reason is, 
from her sorrow in that her bowels were turned for 
her Lord, who was thus unworthily received (verse 3). 

3. Then is subjoined (in verses 4 and 5), the fruits of 
her laziness, which was the losing of her well beloved; 
in which are these six particulars. 

I. '' I rose to openr — This is a new purpose, con- 
demning her former neglect. 2. What befel her in 
that work ; the Lord left upon her heart the smell of 
His love, sweet as myrrh, which made her hands to 
drop when she had purposed to open. 3. It is set 
down, her opening out of time, " He had withdrawn 
Himself 4. Her missing of Him when He was 
gone. 5. Two fruits of her missing of Him, the 
one which is the fifth in order, her godly sorrow, 
in that she fell aswoon for Him. The other which is 
the 6. Particular, her seeking, praying, and longing* 
for Him; but not according to her present desire, 
" she found Him not." Thus ye have the division. 

Now I come to the doctrine. 

" / sleepr — It is not long since it was another 
world, '^ Let my beloved come into His garden, and 
eat His pleasant fruit ;" but now it is a changed world. 
Once it was as in chap. ii. 6, " His left hand is under 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 203 



my head, and His right hand doth embrace me :'' but 
now there are harlot lovers in the church, and it is ill 
sleeping in a chamber where Christ is locked to the 
door.* Perhaps the devil had made the bed, busked 
the chamber, and drawn the curtains. Hence the 
holiest living, while the flesh dwells in him, a neigh- 
bour to the Spirit, he will fall asleep. (Matt. xxv. 5), 
"While the bridegroom tarried, they (even the wise 
virgins) all slumbered and slept." (Rom. xiii. 11), "It 
is high time to awake : for the night is spent.'' They 
were in a nap when the apostle would have them to 
awake, (i Thes. v. 5, 6) " Ye are the children of the 
day, therefore let us watch and be sober." Then we 
must beware lest that, in the believer's day, and in the 
Lord's day-time, we take a noon sleep. 

Qtiestum. But what are the causes that those whom 
God has once awakened fall asleep ? 

Answer, i. A full man seeks a bed, a drunken 
man asketh for a soft resting bed. In prosperity 
and health, when men sit right against the hot sun — 
when David is at home, and his kingdom established 
in his hand, he falls asleep, and lust asketh the way to 
his house (2 Sam. xi.) When it is full moon with the 
soul, and it has been filled with God's presence, take 
heed then that you lay not your face to the sun, and 
fall asleep. When Peter got a fill of glory at the 
transfiguration of Christ, then he falls asleep; and in a 
dream, he spoke he wist not what, when he said, 
"' Master, it is good for us to be here" (Mark xi. 5, 6). 
It was a word he spoke through his sleep. If ye, 
Peter and John, will stay still in that glorious estate 
ye have soon done with it. But how shall the Chris- 
tian world be gathered in to Christ by your ministry ? 

Locked out. 



204 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



Nay, awake ye must, come down from the mount, and 
be scourged, imprisoned, and suffer death for bearing 
witness of Christ before the world. The devil does 
here, as some physicians Avho give physic when it is 
full moon. Satan kens well Avhen it is full moon w4th 
the soul, and then he waits on with a soft pillow and 
a made bed. Therefore, after your fill of Christ, and 
after you have gotten many love tokens from Him ; 
keep your soul w^aking. 

2. Men cast away holy fear, and then they must 
sleep. They forget their soul's being ill locked up, 
and forget that loose-handed devils (if we may so say) 
are going up and down the house : and that they have 
a great house to keep that is well filled. Their con- 
science and their affections are treasures often loosely 
laid up : and there is but a thin wall betwixt us and 
Satan. And we forget that sin has made us heavy 
headed and lazy sluggards, inclining to sleep. 
*^ Blessed is he that feareth always" (Prov. xxviii. 14). 
We may catch much harm in sleeping, and therefore 
holy fear should keep us waking. He that knows 
himself to be on the head of a top-mast, and wdth 
giddy head looking down, he will forget sleeping. 

3. We turn idle and leave off our spiritual exercise : 
and so fall over in Satan's perfumed bed (i Thes. v. 
8). To keep men waking, the apostle sends them to 
the use of faith, love, and hope. Before men fall 
asleep, they turn lazy and cold in good works. Such 
as watch a castle, when they fear sleep, walk up and 
down, speak and sing ; for if they sit down, they wall 
but soon welcome sleep. Let a man for a month do 
nothing but sit in one place night and day, the sinews 
of his legs wall readily freeze and dry up. Use the 
body and have the body. When Ave give up with 
prayer, reading, hearing, conferring, meditating, and 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



205 



walking in love and good works ; no marvel though 
the sinews of the conscience dry up. Let a watch or 
a clock stand a year, lay aside the paces,'' then all the 
wheels rust and gather dirt and moths, and so clog it 
that it cannot go. Leave off to do good, and turn 
lazy ; and the wheels of the conscience, and the affec- 
tions of love, joy, desire, sorrow, hope, fear, let them 
gather rust ; and if they freeze, the soul must then fall 
asleep, and turn as dead for a journey to heaven as a 
sleeping man is to walk. These two last causes of 
sleep say it is no wonder though all we in this land be 
fallen asleep. Our little fear of losing our well Be- 
loved, and our deadness in good works and spiritual 
exercises, cannot but bring us to this sleep. 

'^ Bid my heart wakeih^ — IMy renewed part waked, 
and knew Christ's tongue. This is not spoken as a 
volleyt or vogue ; as many folk in a shew, scant of 
friendly neighbours to praise them, they save their 
neighbours the labour, and praise themselves : but the 
church speaks this to the praise of the grace of God. 
Hence, we see the worst case the child of God can be 
in he can discern, even through his sleep, the voice 
of God in Christ; and in his dream can take up Christ 
as Christ. For even under these out-casts, { and when 
the peace betwixt them is cried down for a time (i John 
iii. 9), the seed of God abideth in them (i John ii. 27). 
The anointing that they have received of God abideth 
in them. Neither must we think that Christ giveth 
His friends a spur visit and a standing word, and away 
again, seeing He still dwells in His own ; howbeit He 
doth not aye work in them. 

Under greatest unkindness there is never a defec- 

* The weights. t A mere burst, or for fashion's sake. 
% Quarrels. 



2o6 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



tion in the soul, for the Lord's seed of righteousness 
remaineth in them. Howbeit it casteth not aye heat, 
yet it casteth aye hght, whereby the man seeth sin, 
and protests and takes instruments'" in Christ's name, 
of the wrong done to Christ. And if the new man 
cry. Wrong, ^\Tong, think on that : the converted sin 
not without an eye-witness that speaks against the ill 
(Rom. vii. 17, 18). 

But by the way then another Question. How do 
the renewed in Christ sin at all if the seed of God 
abide in them ? 

Answer. Because Christ can lie down in the soul, 
and not work at all, and suffer the unrenewed part, I 
mean the old man, to make a road+ in the soul : Christ 
in the new man only making a little struggling, as the 
birth hurt in the mother's womb makes a stirring. 
This should be known; it is not grace in the habit that 
hinders sin in us, but God working and blowing upon 
that grace. For our watching and walking in God's 
way, is not like ordinary fire that burns of itself; but 
is like the smith's fire that must be blown up with the 
bellows. And therefore, in the time that God's bel- 
lows blows not on our fire, it is dark and dead. Then 
Christ's fire with little heat lies beneath the devil's 
ashes. God says to Jeremiah (chap. i. 18), ^VBehold 
I have made thee this day a fenced city, and an iron 
pillar, and brazen walls, against the whole land." 
Might not that have sufficed Jeremiah, except he were 
ill to please? Nay, but the fenced city might be 
taken ! Therefore the Lord promised that that should 
do the turn. (Verse 19), '* They shall fight against 
thee, but they shall not prevail." Why so ? Because 
Jeremiah was an iron pillar, (S:c. Nay, another reason 

* Protests in legal form. t Make invasion. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 207 



is given ; and that is, '' I am with thee, to deHver thee, 
saith the Lord." So then, it is God Himself working 
upon His own grace, and blowing upon His own fire, 
that is the proper and only cause of our standing. 

But to the point. The waking heart through the 
sleep knows the Lord's tongue ; and this should com- 
fort and bear up the child of God under falls and 
different sins, from being a castaway ; when Satan 
comes in in a deep sleep, and steals away the soul 
and is never trapped. But the devil cannot steal a 
sleep on the child of God, but the renewed part will 
awake him, and take him with it red-hand.'^ Or. at 
least, it is like the tender eye that waters with a blast of 
wind or a mote. Or thus \ when Satan casts water on 
the faith of the saints, Christ's fire makes a noise and 
cracking ; or when sin lies upon the conscience like 
uncouthf meat, raw and undigested, on a weak stomach, 
the child of God gets no rest till he vomit it up again. 
Now this is a matter of comfort, and it saith the con- 
science is tender, sensible, lively, and thin-skinned, 
and will easily bleed. And as it betokens a tender, 
and a waking heart, so it says that that conscience has 
a bottom. But for the rejDrobates, the devil has driven 
the bottom out of their conscience, so that sin runs 
through it as a vessel without a bottom, that holds 
nothing ; for sin, after it is committed, is done, or out 
of mind with them. The Pharisees killed Christ, and 
were soon w^ashen, though it was with foul water ; and 
they fall to, and eat the passover, and there is no more 
of it. It is past with them, and that quickly, and there 
is no more of it by reason of a running out conscience. 
Cain's murder did not stick long in his throat when 
he went out of God's presence and built a city. 

* Ii"^ the very act. t Strange. 



2o8 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



This confession of the kirk, that in sleeping, "the 
heart waked," will reprove many who overcharge their 
conscience and themselves (as the apostle speaks, 
2 Cor. ii. 7), until they be swallowed up with grief. 
They only speak of the evil that is true of themselves, 
but no good at all. The church doth not so (Cant. i. 
S), *' I am my beloved's," &c. I am black, yet she 
denies not, but Christ's part is comely as the tents ot 
Kedar. We ought to confess our sleepiness ; but we 
should not deny the grace that is in God. As the 
wretch sinneth away all he has and sayeth he has 
nothing. Thus some imagine it to be both the root 
and top of true humility, to say they have no grace at 
all ; there is nothing in me that God can own as His 
own work. This they think true humility, to put the 
price of a dog on themselves. As they think they are 
riding God's errands when they have put the saddle 
on the wrong horse ! But, in doing this, men take 
Satan's place over his head, for he is an accuser of the 
brethren, and they play the advocate for him. And 
this is in confessing to bend the bow beyond the com- 
pass of it. And when men say this, that they have 
nothing of them in God, they forget that Satan is at 
their elbow, to say, Then I take instruments* on your 
word, ye must then be mine. 

There is also a third sort, who abuse a waking heart 
in their sleep. They who think they may take a little 
liberty and elbow room to sin, because, say they, 
Howbeit I sleep, yet the renewed part is waking. I 
know Christ's tongue : it is not any gift to suffer for 
Christ. I will crouch and let the cross of Christ slip 
by me ; yet I wish all well. I love the good cause ! 
Yet they can feed their lusts, and make them fat and 

* Protest. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 209 



wanton. I hope, say these men, I have tme grace, 
I am woe at any shps I make ! Now, well said Pilate ! 
Scourge Christ and then condemn Him ; and then 
wash your hands and proclaim yourself a just, clean 
man. If any man be wrong, then these with the first 
are playing about the mouth of hell. 

^' Open to ine^ — There is then a locked door upon 
Christ ; His face is hidden. So soon as He goes out 
there is one that pays rent to an uncouth Lord, who 
wins the house of our hearts, and takes it up. Hence 
it is, that Christ must beg lodging for God's sake, ere 
He get possession of His own again. Then by our 
security, taking the play, and giving a night's lodging 
or two, to an old lust, dear Jesus must stand and call 
for Himself, as if He were the Man to be meaned, 
crying, "- Open, My sister,'^ <S:c. Yet this would seem 
a hard command, if He would say to us. Open. 

A7is7ver. ^^'hen God commands anything to us, He 
adviseth not with our lazy flesh. Neither says He, 
What think ye of the command ? He says to Moses, 
Go to Pharaoh, and say, Let My people go. But He 
asked not counsel at Moses in his cold blood, nor 
stood at his natural fear to go to Eg)'pt where he 
had slain a man. He sends Jeremiah to kings, princes, 
prophets and people, and makes no great reckon- 
ing of the prophet's fleshly shitt. " Ah, God ! I 
cannot speak ;" says he, " I am a child " (Jer. i. 6). 
Yea, if our Lord advised with wicked men (to say no 
more of the saints) in asking their mind anent His 
commandments, they would shape a law like a \\4de 
coat, to take in both God and their lusts. But God's 
commandments must stand, of His own mould. Hence 
comes this 

Question. How are evangelical commands directed 
to us ? (Kze.k. xviii. 31), '' 2^1ake you a new heart, and 
o 



2IO COMMUNION SERMONS, 



a new spirit." (Col. iii. lo), " Put on the new man." 
(Rom. xii. 2), " Be transformed by the renewing of 
your mind," &c. This seems to lay the weight on our 
free will, which it cannot bear. What shall ye then 
do with these things ? 

Answer. Because lazy nature flings at the load, it 
should not be refused at the first hearing. We are to 
take us to our feet, no less than the power were in our 
own hand. Christ helps fair ventures. Better die 
working and doing as we can, than cry in the fire. 
Lord, lift me out. It is our fault ; the want of the 
command breaks our resolution to obey in two pieces, 
and there we lie. 

God sends not His commandments to us because 
we have strength to do them. But God seeks that 
His charge be met with humility. Wherefore, the 
gospel is a mass of humble commandments ; and we 
sigh because we cannot win up the brae. It is accept- 
able; providing we creep on hands and feet as we can, 
it is sweet obedience. Because faith has always in 
the second covenant the first stroke, and the fore-start, 
before doing, as being the condition of the covenant, 
therefore our Lord commands, and seeks in the com- 
mand, that we believe. He will put His Spirit in us, 
and cause us to do what He craves of us. A father 
charges his child to bear a burden far above his 
strength, and threatens him if he obey not. He obeys 
if he stoop, and mint f and pant ; and withal weeps, 
yet he cannot get it done, and believes that out of love 
his father will help him. So in opening of our hearts to 
Jesus ; if we but weep, and look up with watery eyes 
to Christ, and then cry and mint, to open it as we can, 
using the weak fingers that we have. For though our 

f Attempt \ aim at. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 21 1 



money wants many grain weights, yet Christ fills the 
scale of the balance, and weighs down where we want. 
So Christ's commands to us are commanding promises 
and promissory commands. He charges us to do 
(Ezek. xviii. 31), and He promises to work in us what 
He commands us to do (Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27). 

The use of this point is to teach us to meet God's 
commands with humility ; as going out of ourselves 
with faith in the commander. For want of this, our 
lazy nature lies down under the load, and we stick in 
the mire. 

This speaks against the enemies of grace, who 
slander us, as if we denied Christ to be a law-giver, 
who speaks good words to, and speaks good words of 
us ; and said that the gospel does not command at all, 
but only shews and teaches what God by His Spirit 
works in the elect. Nay, we teach that it both com- 
mands and craves obedience (as they teach) ; and He 
irresistibly works by His Spirit what He craveth ; and 
His grace pays our debts. He pays our debts with 
His own money; which they deny, to God's dishonour, 
and the reproaching of His grace, that free will may 
get the throne. But better we v/ant, than grace want. 

" J/y sister^ My love.^^ — Christ speaketh like Himself, 
He calls His church four times over His own, " My 
sister. My dove. My friend, and My undefiled." Even 
as if He were proud of His heritage. Mine is a sweet 
and a friendly word ; every one loves well their o^vn. 
So doth Christ speak of His own, being well content 
with His conquest, as having no stronger reason to 
work upon us, to win in upon our souls, than to allege 
properly His claim to us. And His property and 
interest is a great one. And it is but reason every 
one get his own ; and far more reason that Christ get 
His own. We see Christ had begun, or renewed, 



212 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



conversation on low and lovely terms ; such as a man 
has when he finds a treasure (Matt. xiii. 44). Then 
Christ filleth to comers, at the first meeting, a cheerful 
heart. And (Matt. xi. 28) ease and rest to their souls is 
promised. (Rev. iii. 20), "If any man hear My voice, 
and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup 
with him, and he with Me." There a feast of joy 
(Prov. ix. 5), Christ saith to a parcel of fools: "Come, 
eat of My bread, and drink of My wine." There is a 
home-coming soul set to a full covered table. 

I deny not but there be down-casting terrors, and 
ploughing of the conscience before ; but that is before 
Christ come. Sorrow ushers the gate to Jesus. The 
reasons are these, i. The conscience is as a dainty 
small spun thread at conversion, either begun or re- 
newed. There is a double knot upon it, law terrors, 
and the threatenings are a sharp knife to cut the 
thread ; but not to loose the knot : and loosed it must 
be. For welF is the soul that Christ wooeth with its 
own consent. Therefore love's sweet graces and felt 
promises have a rank smell of the soul's delight and 
comfort of Christ's presence : and they are the small 
soft singers of Christ, whereby, with the strong, soft, 
and subtile art of love, Christ looseth the knot. The 
soul is, until then, a locked door. The law is the 
wrong key, it would break the lock ere it opened the 
heart. When Christ comes, the law and our affec- 
tions are like ill ravelled yarn ; force would ravel them 
worse. 

But in Christ's coming first to winf in upon our 
hearts, we are like old vessels made new ; it is best to 
try old vessels with water ere ye put wine in them. 
Love is like water in the soul ; it is not so sore looking 

* Happy is. t Get in. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



213 



in the soul as wine. It is best at our first starting of 
the race to see the gold.* Christ puts not new wine 
into old vessels. While His disciples are young and 
weak, He sooths them with the company of the Bride- 
groom ; but afterwards, when they are older, and have 
strength, He will take the Bridegroom from them, and 
then they shall weep in those days (Matt. ix. 15). To 
draw home Ephraim's heart to God, He plats the rope 
double, that it break not. See our Lord's word to 
him (Jer. xxxi. 20), '^ Is Ephraim My dear son? Is 
he a pleasant child?" &c. And a new garment, 
feasting, and kissing, is for the forlorn child. 

The first love-token is a copy and sampler to all 
the rest : therefore it must be given with a hearty im- 
pression from Christ's own mouth in His word. The 
bairns' copy should be WTitten with fair and large 
letters, that it may make them learn with the better 
will. Our Lord knows we will have to do with experi- 
ence; and therefore, ordinarily at our first meeting 
we get as much feeling as we shall never cast off all 
our life-time again. I will not afiirm this to be univer- 
sal; for Christ steals in upon some souls from the 
womb, so that they can say, Here He is ; but how He 
came in I cannot tell. 

Use, Some may say I have had much sweet delight 
in Christ langsyne ;t but Oh 1 I may say, God be with 
good old by-past years. 

Answer i. New love has aye the sweetest breath. 
^Vhile it is new, it is in this point, like the bairn's new 
coat, it delights because it is new. So is love because 
new, and afterward it delights because it is love only. 
But this is not spoken to bolster up any who are fallen 
from their first love, like Ephesus. We like all well 

* The prize offered. t In days long past and gone. 



214 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



. to be soothed in our affections ; but be not casten 
down, because old feasts are turned to hunger; for 
hunger is as good for you as feeding and feasting. A 
man on the top of a mountain will see the city though 
he be many miles from it : and when he is within half 
a mile of the city, may not see it at all, because he is 
on valley ground. Longsyne, when ye were Christ^s 
creeping bairns. He set you on the top of a mountain, 
and made you to see heaven : now ye are within half 
a mile of the city, and in His wisdom He makes you 
walk on valley ground, though ye are nearer it now 
than before. For of old. He was only letting you see 
the ground, that ye might run fast. 

Since Christ in conversion worketh thus by love ; it 
is a vain thing for the enemies of grace to say, God's 
determinate grace doth strangle free will, because it 
worketh irresistibly. Nay, seeing grace works by love, 
it is clear that grace doth not strangle, but clap and 
kiss free will in its most kindly and natural inclina- 
tion. 

Let never a man please himself in obedience to 
Christ, until he finds His love load him. I will tell 
you, for every ounce weight of spiritual love there is 
as many of spiritual obedience. Get once your soul 
fraughted with the love of Christ, as a bird in the net, 
and all is well. Let fear and terror, or other winds 
blomng our sails stand by, for they shall never take 
the ship home. It is but a violent motion, and not 
perpetual. The will going about as the wheels of a 
watch wearieth, because of the violent motion. The 
sun wearieth not to shine, nor the fire to cause heat, 
nor a fountain to spring, because the motion here is 
natural. Law, fear, lust, gain, credit, and the like, 
bloweth us forward to obedience, causeth but a violent 
motion against the hair j the wheels will wear and tire. 



COMMUNION sermon:^, 215 



But when our actions come from the love of God, as 
from a co-natural fountain, O ! the motion is like 
the action of nature that is not forced. For the love 
of God is not short of breath, and it will not weary. 

" My undejiled one'' — Passing the other titles, this 
shews that the kirk has a feast in Christ's heart, and 
partaking of His nature. My fellow friends, touching 
the communion between Him and her, " My dove,'' 
it respecteth the chastity of the kirk and matrimonial 
love to her only husband, Christ. I but touch this, 
"My undefiled one" is exponed (chap, vii.j, "Thou 
art fair, My love, there is no spot in thee." Whence 
is this, that a sinful kirk is called undefiled ? 

Answer. Our Lord reckons us from our best part ; 
the new man is an undefiled thing. There is a chain 
of gold melted, though there is some dregs in it ; yet 
we call it a chain of massy gold. Christ calls His 
mixt wine, wine. When Christ once loves His, He 
never reckons the dross : it is holden out of Christ's 
count book. We are undefiled in Christ, " in whom 
we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins" (Eph. 
i. 7). The saints must be undefiled when their sins 
are put up in Christ's account. (Isaiah liii. 6), " The 
Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (2 Cor. v. 
21), "God made Him sin for us, who knew no sin; 
that we might be made the righteousness of God in 
Him." O then (say the Papists), we are as righteous 
as Christ, if His righteousness be ours ; which is blas- 
phemous. And because it is of a truth, that Christ's 
righteousness is imputed to us : says the Antinomian, 
we are Christ's, and as righteous as He, and so cannot 
sin, and we are not under the law. Now to the first : 
let the Papists, who mock at Christ's imputed right- 
eousness, know, if we look to the quantity of Christ's 
righteousness, it follows not that we are as righteous. 



2t6 communion sermons. 



For He is inherently righteous, and His personal 
sufferings has righteousness for all the elect, and for 
many worlds. But if we look to the manner of having 
His righteousness; then, as He is righteous, so are we. 
Even as a child of one day old is no less a man than 
a man of thirty years : but the child is not a man of 
such quantity and stature as a man of thirty years. 
Christ has righteousness for Himself, and us all; but 
we have our righteousness in Him, and every one for 
himself, because sin is but one debt, first upon us, 
and then on Him. Our bond over Christ's head, and 
over our own, is but one process ; '' He was made a 
curse for us. '^ In challenging one ditty ^"^ my sin was 
laid on Christ : sad and black ditty ; one sum on us 
both, one death, and which is best of all, one dis- 
charge. God be thanked, Christ got free out of 
prison, and took all dyvours with Him. Hence let 
us make our own use of it, ere the libertine get his 
answer. Satan intends summons against weak con- 
sciences. Thou art a filthy sinner, says he, and that 
is the ditty God has at thee, and the plea the Lamb 
has against thee. But thou mayest get an answer to 
Satan. It is untrue that there is a plea betwixt me 
and the law ; the plea is betwixt Christ and the law ; 
it is Christ's plea and not mine. Therefore send the 
devil to Christ for that plea; Christ is old enough, and 
can answer for Himself. 

The devil can trouble us for Christ's plea ; yea, he 
can wade deep here. ** Thou art not an elect person, 
nor written in the Lamb's book of life." 

Answer, These doubts of our election, are dreams 
raised in our heads by the devil; for not any but 
jugglers and wizards have read your fortune, and told 

* Indictment. 



COMMUNION SERMOXS. 217 



you such a dream. I ask, Hath Christ given you your 
last answer, and said, I care not for you ? Nay, He 
has not, nor will not say this. But know this, neither 
the devil nor thy conscience speak always law, if thou 
can but unfeignedly creep under Christ's lap. There 
is no water yet casten on Christ's kindness. If His 
love reek and smoke, there is fire. 

The devil can here turn his hand, and borrow the 
conscience of the Antinomian, and the fleshly libertine, 
who says, " I am Christ's undefiled one. He has made 
payment before hand for all my sins, past, present, and 
to come." 

Answer, Ay, He is so righteous to thee, as He is 
made sanctification to thee also (i Cor. i. 30). If 
thou thinkest Christ died for thee, and still sinnest 
upon luck's head f because Christ has blood enough 
to wash thee : as a waster of Christ's blood, thou 
turnest His grace into wantonness. Christ redeemed 
none upon such conditions ; your faith should never 
lay claim to Christ. None are saved, except they live 
to Him who has died for them. As just claims has 
any man to Christ as they have, if they lead not a holy 
life. A man in strong prison with iron fetters on his 
legs, cries, I am a free man. May not the devil laugh 
under thumb, and say, My freemen % free to bear my 
bands. 

'^ For My head is full of de7iK'' — This is a strong 
plea. My spouse. I have endured a cold stormy night 
for thee : I am all dreeping with rain. My dear wife, 
pity thy Christ's frozen head, and give Me a night's 
lodging. 

It is a strong argument in Christ, to win ground on 
our souls, to hear Him tell what He has suffered for 



■ The chance of wmning. 



2i8 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



US. Let in thy slain Husband in thy heart, and give 
Him a night's lodging (see i Peter i. i8), because 
Christ bought you dear, not with silver and gold. 
(i Peter ii. 24), "Christ bare our sins in His own body 
on the tree." What then sought He in that? " Even 
that we being dead to sin should live unto righteous- 
ness." This way Christ's death should work the death 
of sin in us. In obedience,* which describes the 
name, what is it, but that which comes from a heart 
softened and broken with love to Him who had a 
sore head. He who crieth by His ministers, is He 
whose head and breasts are pained with knocking to 
get open doors. And even now, howbeit glorified, 
when our head is pained with crying. He means His 
head. He bought the house, and should not be 
holden out. When a bird builds its nest in the hall 
of a king's palace the nest is in a wrong place. The 
devil has a nest of lust, pride, covetousness, revenge, 
idolatry, atheism, and falsehood in the soul, which is 
a house redeemed with Chrisfs wet head, and precious 
blood. Thou hast a right to cast down the nest, it is 
in a wrong place. Christ was shut out in the cold 
winter night, and got the stormy side of the brae, a 
storm on head and face, like to take the skin off it, to 
buy the house; then let Him in. So long as men 
labour not, the devil and they keep a merry castle 
against Christ. 

^' My head, My locksy^ &c. — It sets Christ well to 
tell His sufferings ; " They pierced My hands and My 
feet" (Psalm xxii. 16). He would say, It is little to 
you to hold Me at the door, but My holy manhood 
paid dear for it. (And He had not much reason for 



* In all obedience that is worth the name. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



219 



Him to take cold.)*^ But it is as if our Lord would 
say, What Christ gave to God for the ransom of sin- 
ners was His own head, His own body, His own soul. 
So there are two things required in a Redeemer, i. 
The act of paying a sum, and telling it over the board 
to the creditor. 2. The sum must be His own, for if 
He pays a ransom with another man's gold, the man 
that aughtf the gold is the ransomer rather than he : 
the payer in that case seems to be but a factor to 
another. But Christ was no factor; He paid the 
redemption with His own proper gold. So the man- 
hood being made one, in a personal union with the 
God-head, yet it was His own flesh and blood, and 
His own soul that He offered to God. For howbeit 
it was borrowed from us, yet, in substance personal, 
it was His own : and both His will and God's was 
one agent in the offering of it, which was a ground of 
infinite mercy, and the holy will of the manhood 
earnestly desired it. Here He took on Him the seed 
of Abraham. And (which is a mystery) the manhood 
not being a person, but a nature, the drawing of it to 
a personality with the God-head, made it Himself and 
His o^vn. 

^Vhence we learn, love both creeping near to us in 
Christ, and so near that He became us. This is the 
love of Christ, that no man could go a step beyond 
Him, in coming down unto us. And therefore see 
how homely is Jesus, in coming unto us, that our 
faith here might be as homely and kind as His love 
was to us. We may lean fully, and lay all our weight 
upon this ransom. Seeing it is the ransom of God, 
and is made God's -payment as well as man's. For 

* Men gave Him little inducement to expose Himself in the 
cold night. t Is owner of. 



220 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



let a subject find a silver mine; suppose it were the 
king's gift, and the metal were made properly his own ; 
yet the metal will never pass, or be current money, 
without the king's stamp put upon it by authority. So 
the manhood slain was metal of our mine ; the union 
with the God-head made it current money. And 
having a stamp from the God-head, it must be of 
infinite worth. So our faith may trust itself, and set 
down both its feet heartsomely and securely here, for 
it is good, sure, steadfast, and sicker ground. 

" I have put off my coat.'' — This is the spouse's 
answer to Christ. Like one gone to bed, and having 
washen their feet (as was the custom in these hot 
countries) because of sweat after travel. '' Trouble 
me not, for my doors are now shut, and my children 
are in bed with me, I cannot rise now and give you.'' 
This shews that while we are asleep, and bedded with 
our pleasures, Christ has no place. For here, for all 
Christ's sweet words to her, calling her, '' My sister. 
My love, ^[y dove," telling His dear head was wet, 
cold, and frozen; yet all that cannot move her, to 
open and let Him in. While the temptation was up, 
and on horseback, and takes us on that score, and 
finds us on a ground of sinning, with hot blood, we 
can hardly stand on our feet and resist, and hold our 
temptation. The prophets rose early in the morning, 
and sat late up, and spake to Israel to return from the 
evil of their ways ; yet Israel hearkened not (Jer. xxvi. 
5). For idolatry had taken them on the right score, 
and that jumped* with their ease. David was not 
himself, in commanding to number the people : for 
Joab (otherwise a bad man) had better light than 
David, a man after God's own heart; for Joab was 



Agreed with ; coincided with. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 221 



against the numbering of the people. But the devil 
stood up, and took David at the right side, when his 
pride was swollen over the bank (t Chron. xxi. i). 
Job's friends find him in a fit of distemper, through 
the vehemency of his pain, causing him to slant a 
little off the line. The devil winnowing Peter, came 
upon his right side, put him upon the denying of his 
Lord when he was in his cold blood in the fear of his 
life. Now there be four reasons of this. 

The first is common ; the withdrawing of God's 
grace : for if the dam grow dry and ebb, the miln 
stands. (Psalm xxx. 7), "Thou didst hide thy face 
(now the horse is saddled), and I was troubled." So 
then, unbelief makes a road.*^ When fear will hold 
the bridle, up goes the rider's heels, and he falls on 
his own weight. And so it cannot but be, for obedi- 
ence is not a web of our spinning, or making. The 
temptation in this case is of many stone weight heavier 
than our shoulder can bear. 

Then also, lust, laziness, and security, are the great 
water : the saints in their own strength are the short- 
legged horse, and dow^n they go! God gives the devil 
liberty to braik and bostf many in our kirk. Be 
humble then, and fear. He knew us full well. Pray, 
'' Lord, lead us not into temptation." 

There be two herbs that grow quickly in our souls 
in summer weather ; security and pride. Humility is 
a strong flower, that grows best in winter weather, and 
under storms and afflictions. When security and 
pride, and other like weeds, are rank and up, the 

* Invasion, as in i Sam. xxvii. 10. 

t Ga\vin Douglas, many of whose words occur in Rutherford, 
uses "braik and host" for ''threat and frighten." In the old 
copies, the sentence is, "to ready and to breakfast," which has 
au meanin". 



222 COMMUNION' SERMONS. 



temptation has us in the night. Then if ye would be 
kept from the black hour of temptations, swell not on 
pride, turn not lazy in the use of good means. If ye 
do, look for a temptation, as God's lance, to make a 
hole to let out the wind. 

When light is turned blunt, and wants an edge; 
then the temptation of a warm bed will prevail, to 
hold Christ at the wrong side of the door. For here 
I appeal to your experience, to discern two nicks* you 
will be in. On the one hand the temptation goes home 
without its errand; on the other, ye are taken at 
a preaching or a communion, with the glance of a 
renewed face, with a blink of Christ at the death of a 
friend, or under a sharp rod. 

It were a good use of this doctrine, to observe the 
right frame of your souls, to sharpen a blunted light. 
To beware of pride and security. Often learn to know 
the case of your hearts. Seek out the way to the 
bottom of it, and plumb it often, and see how deep it 
is. When the heart is on the devil's rack, then take 
yourselves off quickly. Guide well, and choose your 
steps. Fear and quake, and cry unto your Rock. To 
Him be everlasting praise. Amen. 

* Points of time. 




SERMON X .* 

This title was, no doubt, given by the friend who took down 
the notes ; for Rutherford was not in the way of putting titles to 
his sermons. The expression, ** C/insfs Napkin^^^ occurs in this 
sermon, and also in the sermon on John xx. 13, which might as 
suitably be so called. The Edinburgh edition of 1734, says, 
" By that f(nver of the Chinxh^ fa?nous, fa??wus Mr. Samuel 
Rutherford^ 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes^ ^c. — Rev. 
xxi. 4, 5, 6, 7. 

THIS text contains three things. First, The state 
of the glorified, verse 4. Secondly, A part of 
Christ's office, verse 5. Thirdly, A description of His 
nature. Fourthly, The promises as to i. Drink to 
satisfy the thirst; 2. An inheritance to the overcomers, 
or overcoming soldiers; 3. A threatening of eternal 
wrath to offenders against the first and second tables 
of the law. 

''A7id God shall unpe aii^ay all tear s!^ — When friends 
meet, they give the stranger his welcome-home. Here 
is the pilgrim's welcome that our friend, Christ, gives 
us. It was spoken from heaven, and therefore it is 

* A sermon preached at the Comipunion in Kirkcudbright, 
May 1 2th, 1633. 



224 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



true doctrine. Then we see that the sufferings and 
tears of the saints shall be wiped away and removed, 
but not fully, until"' the world to come ; for then is 
Christ's welcome-home to poor sinners. They come 
all to Him with wet faces, and bleared f with tears for 
sin and the manifold troubles of this life ; and Christ 
meets them in the door, with a fair soft napkin in His 
hand, and puts up His hand to their faces, and says, 
*' Hold your tongue, My dear bairns ; ye shall never 
weep again." And indeed, in my judgment, it is a 
speech borrowed from a mother that has a bairn with 
a broken face, all bloody and all bleared with tears, 
and it comes to her (and woe's her hearty to see him 
so), and she sits down and wipes the tears from his 
eyes, and lays her hand softly on the wound, and his 
head in her breast, and dights § away the blood, and 
lays her two arms about him, and there is no end of 
fair words. So when Christ and we shall meet in 
heaven. He will hush us, and wipe away all tears, and 
lay our head in His bosom. See how He alludes 
to this place (Isaiah liv. ii), *' O thou afflicted, 
tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will 
lay thy foundations with sapphires," «&:c. It is there, 
to speak so, our Lord is rueing|| that ever He had 
handled the saints as He did. (Isaiah Ixv. 18, 19), 
*• Be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create ; 
toi, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her 
people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and 
joy in My people : and the voice of weeping shall 
be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crpng." if 
ever there was a blythell meeting betwixt two, it must 
be betwixt the Bridegroom and the bride in the mar- 

* '* Whill," in old copies. t Bedewed and soiled. 

X Sorry is her heart. § Wipes. |! Repenting. If Happy. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. ^25 



riage-day. And what a meeting there is of joy betwixt 
such a Bridegroom and bride cannot be conceived. 
For Christ, that day, will have on all His best clothes. 
And such a bride as the Lamb's wife ! when we shall 
be clothed, and not a wrong pin on us ; a fair bride in 
silk and purple of Christ's own busking.'^ And what 
a welcome she will get ! To get a drink at our first 
meeting and incoming to heaven, " of the well of the 
water of life." Oh, strong comforting water ! And 
Christ our Lord shall present His bride to His Father; 
and our Father-in-law, the Father of our Husband, 
shall take us by the hand and lead us benf the house 
to the dining hall, and set us down at a table to feast 
our fill upon *' the tree of life " — to feast upon the 
Trinity for evermore ! Now, mock and scorn the 
way to heaven as ye please ; ye never heard of true 
happiness till now. Here is a " banquet of joy " for 
evermore. 

*' He shall wipe aiuay all tears^ — Christ our Lord 
in this world wipes the tears from His bairns' faces ; 
yet after that they weep new tears. He never wipes 
away all tears till now. Here shall be our last " good- 
night ^' to death — Good-night to crying, and mourning, 
and sorrow ! We shall be on the other side of the 
water, and over beyond the black river of death, and 
shall scorn death; for Christ shall take death and 
hell and cast them in the prison of fire (Rev. xx. 14). 
The mother that lost her bairns shall get them — all 
the Lord's widows shall get their husbands — the old 
world, which was the mourning world, shall be away. 
And therefore, never till now shall ^' all tears" be 
wiped away. 

The kiric is half a widow here ; her Lord is in an 

* Dressing. t To the inner part. 

P 



2 26 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



uncouth country ; far from her home : and ilk loon* 
round about plucks at this sillyf widow, while she is in 
the valley of Baca, wherein is no water. The watch- 
men strike her and take her veil from her ; but Christ 
writes a love letter to her, and after she has read it 
she rejoiceth and wipeth her face. But when the letter 
grows old, and she has lost the letter, new troubles 
come on ; she sheds new tears, and comes under new 
persecutions ; and her Lord, for her sins, goes in be- 
hind the wall and hides Himself, and lets her mourn 
her fill. But in that day '' He will wipe away all tears 
from her eyes." See then how it goes here in this 
life — first a fair day, then again a foul day, till at last 
that fair day dawns when all shadows flee away ; and 
there shall never be a foul day after that ; but aye the 
long, lasting, summer day for evermore. You see a 
man travelling to his home — here is a water, then dry 
land; then another water, then dry land; then a water, 
and at last only dry land between him and his home : 
then he goes home to his wife and bairns, and has no 
more waters. So all our tears are never dried till we 
come to heaven ; for the saints have a liferent tack of 
the cross of Christ, while we are here, and aye ill 
weather — (Matt. xvi. i6) — ever the cross. See in John 
xvi. 20, 22, our Lord compares our troubles to the 
pains that come upon a woman in travailing ; now a 
shower, and then some ease; a shower again, and then 
ease — aye till the last shower that she be delivered, 
and then no more showers: "She remembereth no 
more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the 
world." We must be in pain ere our birth be bom ; 
but we shall be delivered of our birth. 

Use 1st, Let us prepare ; for tears will follow us to 

* Each low fellow. + Feeble. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 227 



heaven; unto the very entry of the door our face shall 
be wet, for we go out of this hfe sad and groaning for 
this miserable life; and to thrust through the last port, 
and to wade through the hindermost water — it is a sore 
set.* But be blythe,t Christians, and grip to the 
promises. God's bairns that can now mourn for their 
own sins, and the sins of the land, rejoice in heaven ; 
there are never seen greeting bairns:{: there ; God has 
a napkin to dight§ their faces. It is the laughing, re- 
joicing people that God destroys. But ye that laugh 
now (Luke vi. 25), (and are so far from tears — that ye 
mock the mourners of Zion), you may sigh and close 
the Bible, and say, '^\las ! I never shed a tear for Christ ; 
your text is not for me." It may be Christ shall that 
day make you weep and shed tears for evermore. This 
sour, laughing world will pass away — there is a day of 
tears coming on you; ^^greetingH and gnashing of teeth." 
And when a man gnasheth his teeth, one against 
another, he has no mind of laughing. I would not 
have your mirth for a world. Be doing ; we shall see 
who will laugh fastest yon day. 

Use 2nd. There is an ill coming on this land. Sin 
is not come to full harvest. Often have I told you of 
a fan of God's word to come among you, for the con- 
tempt of it. I have told you often of wrath — wrath 
from the Lord to come upon Scotland, and yet I bide 
by my Master's word ; it is quickly coming — desolation 
for Scotland, because of the quarrel of a broken cove- 
nant. Now, my dear people, my joy and crown, seek 
the Lord and His face; let Him be your fear. "Flee 
to your stronghold, ye prisoners of hope." Doves, flee 
to Christ's windows, and save your souls. 

* Difficult work. + Cheerful. X Weeping children. 
§ Wipe. 1! Weeping. 



2 2 8 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



Verse 5. ^' And He that sat upon the throne said, 
Behold, I make all things new, A7id He said unto me. 
Write; for these words are true and faithful,''^ 

John heareth more of Christ — a sweet speech. 
Here are three things mentioned — ist, a speaker; 
2nd, a speech ; 3rd, a direction to keep the speech. 

I. A speaker. '' He that sat upon the throned — Who 
spake the speech is not told, whether an angel or an 
earthly king, for they sit on thrones also. But it is 
He of whom it is said (Rev. iv. 2), "And behold a 
throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne." 
John tells not His name, but he thinks so much of 
Him, that he takes it for granted that there is none 
worthy to be a King but He, and to sit on a throne 
but He. The saints measure all the affections of 
others by their own affections. As, if one speired* at 
John, *' Who is He that sits upon the throne?'' he 
would have answered, "What needs you speir? is 
there any in heaven or earth, in my estimation, worthy 
to be a King but He? and to sit on a throne but He? 
and to take a crown upon His head but He?" The 
saints set aye Christ alone — they set Him above all. 
Speak of kings to them ; but Christ is out of play. So 
(Cant. iii. 3), the kirk, meeting with " the watchmen," 
saith, " Saw ye Him whom my soul loveth ? " What 
kennedf the watchman of Him whom her soul loved? 
for she might have loved a loon, or a harlot, or an 
idol-god, or the world. But she measureth the watch- 
man by herself There was none in her mind but 
Christ ; and therefore she needed not to tell them, as 
she thought. So Mary Magdalene (John xx. 15) says 
to the gardener (as she thought), " Sir, if ye have 
borne Him hence, tell me where ye have laid Him." 

* Inquired. t Knew. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



229 



She tells not what //////, taking as granted, that what 
so much possessed her own soul would doubtless 
equally occupy the thoughts of every other ; and none 
was so much in her mind as Christ. Now, I pray you, 
let the same mind be in you that was in John and in 
Mary. Let Christ be to your soul the pearl of the 
ring. Among all kings, Christ should be made high, 
and esteemed by us as He — the only He — that is 
worthy to '^ sit on a throne." So, in Cant. v. 10, He 
is to the kirk *' the chiefest among ten thousand." 
Gather all the angels in heaven and earth together ; 
Christ is too good to be their Captain. And, indeed^ 
what is all that sits on a throne? It must be infinitely 
more in Him. And whatever glory is in the world, is 
far more in Him. Take all the roses in the earth, 
and put them all in one, that would be a dainty thing 
and sight. But what are all these to Christ? — no 
more than a nettle to the fairest rose. Fie upon the 
tasteless love of men, that never loveth Jesus Christ, 
and yet falleth in love with lusts. They love gold, 
riches, and honour, and put Christ to a backside. Ay, 
Christ gets not His own among us. We recommend 
Him not ; neither will we match with Him. 

2. A speech. " I will make all things neiv.^^ — This 
is as much as, all things are old. Sin hath made all 
things old. They are like a woman groaning in child- 
birth with pain and vanity, because of our sin (Rom. 
viii. 22). All the creatures are sickened because of 
sin. Because of our sin, vanity came on the sun, 
moon, and other creatures. They sigh under this, 
and pray, in their kind, a malison* and a woe to man, 
for sin has made us all miserable. The heavens, that 
are the fairest part of the great web of the world, "wax 



>.^>.^>.N.N,-V 



* Evil ; curse. 



230 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



old as a garment ;" the prophet saith they are like an 
old clout. '^ The water saith, "Let me drown sinners 
— they hav^e sinned against my Lord ;" the fire saith, 
"Let me bum them — let me bum Sodom, for they 
have sinned against my Lord." All things have lost 
the glory that they got at their first creation. Jesus 
seeth all things gone wrong, and quite out of order, 
and man fallen from his Lord. And He did even 
with the world as the pilot, who, when an unattentive 
man at the rudder was steering the ship on a sand- 
bank, stept in quickly and turned her incontinent, or 
else all would have gone to confusion. So our Lord 
stept in when the great ship of this world was running 
on a sand-bed; and when the sun and the moon 
looked sad-like, and said they would not serve us, He 
renewed them by His death, made them all laugh on 
the elect again, and gave them all a suit of new 
clothes. 

Drunkards, Christ gave His blessing on the wine 
that ye spue on the walls. Ye that dishonour your 
jNIaker with your vain apparel, ye know not what it 
cost Christ our Lord to buy a right to those things 
that ye abuse in vanity. All that set the world in 
their hearts, where the Lord should be, forget that 
Christ bought the world to be their ser\^ant, and not 
to be as their darling and wife that lies in their bosom. 
Ye that make the earth, and the broad acres of it, 
your soul's portion, forget that Christ bought the 
earth, and made it new, to be a footstool, and not 
a chair for our souls to sit down in. And if Christ 
has this art to make all things new, come to Him all 
ye that are old. Oh, ye that have old hearts ! come. 
Christ may get His craft among ye, if ye would come 

Raff. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



531 



to Him. "He makes all things new." The devil 
has borrowed your heart for covetousness, and crooked 
it with the thorny cares of this world, and holed*^ it, 
and knocked the bottom out of it. Oh ! if ye would 
put it in Christ's hand, He would put it into His fur- 
nace, and melt it again, and by His art bring it out a 
new heart for Himself to dwell in. Alas ! Christ gets 
not His trade or calling among us. But why are not 
our old hearts mended ? Because we handle them as 
a foolish mother doth her dawted bairn ;t she will not 
let him go to the school to learn, and why ? — because 
she dowj not want him out of her sight. She will 
therefore never let him do well, but feeds him for the 
gallows. We dow not give away our souls to Christ, 
who would fain have, and could easily mend them. 
But lust, or pride, or covetousness, like the foolish 
mother, keeps them out of Christ^s company ; so that 
we will not let that dear craftsman, who made the 
earth under our feet and the mountains new, make 
our old hearts new. Our souls are all hanging in 
tatters, worn and old with sin, and yet we dow not 
put them in Christ's hand, that He might make them 
whole and cleanse them. Fie upon thee, that thy 
garden, cursed in Adam's day to bring forth nettles 
and thorns, is blessed again to bring forth fruit in 
Christ, and thy soul gets not so much of Him as thy 
yard ; it is made new, but thy soul remains old. Oh ! 
bring it to Jesus ; He will create in you a clean heart, 
and renew a right spirit within you. Indeed, Christ 
may get His craft among ye, if you would go to Him; 
for it is His trade to " make all things new." 

3. A direction to keep the speech. " And He said 

* Made it full of holes. See his " Letters." t Indulged child. 
X Dare not ; cannot. 



232 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



unto me, Write; for these words ai'e trice and faithficL^^ 
— He bids John write these things about the state of 
the glorified, and calls them faithful and true. He 
would not intrust His word to man's memory and 
conscience — He would have it written. Blasphemous 
Papists, laugh not at this, nor call the Pope's breast 
the Bible ; here is a warrant for written Scripture. 
Indeed, it tells us that man's falsehood wore his con- 
science. Had his conscience been a faithful register, 
there should have been no need of a written Bible. 
But now the Lord has lippened^--' more to dead paper 
than to a living man's soul. Our conscience, now 
under sin, had not been a good Bible, because man is 
ready to run away from his conscience, and because 
what is written on our conscience (as, that there is a 
God — a judgment — a heaven — a hell), Satan and sin 
come in as two false witnesses and blot it out, and 
^vrite that in the fool's heart that says, "' There is no 
God." And there are many holes in our souls ; the 
word of God comes in and runs out again at back- 
spouts, except Jesus make our souls waterfast, so that 
" the word of God may dwell in us plentifully '^ (Col. 
iii. 1 6). Are not our hearts compared to a field, 
wherein the preacher sows the seed, and the black 
spirits of hell come and gather up Christ's wheat? 
Oh ! but there are many running-out souls ; and 
much need we have of a written Bible. Therefore 
make much of the written word, and pray God to 
copy His Bible into your conscience, and write a new 
book of His doctrine in your hearts, and put it in the 
conscience as He directs (Jer. xxxi.) 

Verse 6. '' And He said tmto me, It is done. I am 
Alpha and Ojnega^ the beginning and the end. 1 will 

Trusted. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



233 



give u?iio him that is athirst of tJic fount ai7i of the 7uater 
of life freely:' 

Here, also, are three things — ist, a prophecy; 2nd, 
a description ; 3rd, a promise of water. 

I. A prophecy. Christ says to John, "7/ is done:' 
— That is exponed in Rev. xvi. and xvii. The world 
is ended. So speaks Christ of the world. The glory 
of it passeth away in the twinkling of an eye, and 
Christ crieth to those that have the world in both 
their arms, " It is done," it is a past thing, there is 
no more of it. It is but a word to our Lord. He 
said, '' Let all things be," and they were ; He will say, 
*' Let all things depart," and they will be at an end. 
We are beginning with the world as if it would be 
evermore ours ; and our Lord says, in a moment, 
*' Let it be plucked from them," and it is done. It 
is not for nothing that the taking down of this inn of 
heaven and earth is touched in so {^\n words — '' It is 
done." For it is an easy thing for the Almighty to 
take in His own hand the staves that hold up this fair 
tent, and, when He pulleth it. He garreth'-' it come 
down with a tilt. So (Rev. vii. i), four angels are 
brought in, '^ holding the four winds of the earth," as 
if they had the world in their hands, and as if they 
had it ready to fold up as a sheet. And oh ! what a 
fighting and business do men make to get a cloutf of 
this sheet ! — he staring out his eyes — and he setting 
out his neck, for a piece of this holly; clout and sheet, 
and for a gloib§ of the earth. But (see Rev. vi. 14), 
*' The heavens shall depart away like a scroll " of 
parciiment that is rolled together, and the fair stories 
thereof are like figs ; with the shake of the Almighty's 

* Compels; causes. t A piece of linen rag. 

X Tattered ; full of holes. § Piece of ground ; glebe. 



234 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



arm shall they fall together to the ground. And, what 
is more, with a touch of the Almighty's hand, or a 
putt of His little finger, or a blast of His mouth, say- 
ing, "It is done," the cupples'^ of the walls of the house 
shall come do^vn. Now, I cannot but speak of fools 
that have their heads full of windmills, and cry it is 
beginning, "To-morrow shall be as this day, and 
much more abundant" (Isaiah Ivi. 12), and there is 
no end of buying and selHng. I came not here to 
bid anybody be unthrifty ; but be not like bairns build- 
ing sandy bourocksf at a burn-side, when presently a 
speat of water comes and spills all their sport, or a 
shower chases them in from their play. Men are ever 
bigging castles in the air. In very deed, we are like 
bairns holding the water at a river side with their 
hands. They think (daftj things) they hold the water, 
while in the meantime it runs through their fingers. 
And what says God of honour, riches, pleasure, lands, 
fair houses, and sums of money? Even that in a 
word, "all is done." Ask of them that had the world 
and broad acres once at will what is to the fore ? And 
what is to the fore§ of so many thousands ? What has 
the world of them but their name ? And what if their 
name be lost too ? for what is their name ? Ten or 
eleven letters of the ABC; and for their bodies — 
howbeit, when they were living, kingdoms would not 
content them — the clay into which their bodies are 
dissolved would not now fill a glove. I think that a 
true and a strange spoken word (Isaiah xi. 22), "God 
sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabi- 
tants thereof are as grasshoppers." We even creep 
like grasshoppers up and down the globe of this earth, 

* The couples are two rafters joined at top. + Places of shelter. 
X Out of their right mind. § Remains still. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 235 



and cry to men of the vanities of all things, while 
death comes, like a common thief, without any din or 
feet, and plucks them away, and there is no more of 
them; then they say, *' It is done." All men must 
confess it is true that I say ; but I think to be dead 
ere they believe it, and act accordingly, or be brought 
to hate the world. I think the world is the devil's 
great herry-water-net,''' that has taken thousands and 
slain them. Ye say ye are sure of it. Then I say ye 
are a dieted! horse for heaven. 

2. The second thing that is in the verse is a descrip- 
tion of Christ — '^I a??i Alpha and Omega, the beginnmg 
a}id the e?id.^' — Our Lord here being to make an offer 
of the water of Hfe, He first showeth what He is — even 
the first and the last letter of the alphabet — the Ancient 
of Days — the Eternal Son of the Eternal God. This 
teaches us that we may crackj more of our old holding, 
and old charter, than all the world can do. For why? 
When began Christ to bear a good will to a sinner ? 
Even when He began to be God ; and He was God 
from all eternity. Suppose the sun in the firmament 
were eternal, the light of it behoved to be eternal; for 
the light of the sun is as old as the sun. Now love is 
a beam of life and heat that comes from Christ, the 
Sun of Righteousness ; therefore ever living Christ — 
ever living love. For love comes not on Christ the 
day, which was not in Him yesterday. Man's love 
and a king's love are hunted for ver)^ much ; and yet 
they die, and their love dies with them, and often 
their love dies before themselves. But who seeks 
Christ's love, that ^'changes not?" Yea, this a matter 
of admiration and wonder, that Christ should have 
thought on us wonns of the clay ere ever we were, 

* Great trawling net. t Well fed. X Talk freely. 



^]> 



9'Z 



~\ 



sj 



236 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



and that our salvation is as old as evermore — as old 
fas Christ, and Christis_-as-old.as God ! 

Indeed, if God should begin at any point of ,time 

to love sinners. His love would have had a beginning ; 

and if His love had a beginning, Christ Himself would 

\ have had a beginning, because love with Him is ,x>ne 

\ with His essence and nature. But it may be said, can 

) thelove of God be older than the death of Christ? 

Answer. Christ's death doth not properly make God a 

hater or a lover of man ; for then both His will should 

be changeable and His love have a beginning. How 

then? Christ's death doth only let that God kythe* the 

fruits of His eternal love out upon us, but after such a 

way as He thought convenient for His justice ; and 

therefore 7ue are said in Scripture *^ to be reconciled 

unto God," and not God to be reconciled unto us. 

His love_is. everlasting ; because by order of nature it 

was before the seed, before we had done either good 

or evil; so that sin could not change God's mind. 

But only by the order of justice, sin stood in the way 

[ to hinder us of life everlasting, which is a fruit of His 

1 love. Yea, more, God with that same love in Christ, 

/ loveth the elect before and after conversion ;" and 

J therefore, in feeling any of God's love to us, we 

\ have to rejoice in Christ. It is old acquaintance 

! between Him and us. And therefore, as it is folly 

' in man (as Solomon saith) to cast off his old friend, 

and his father's friend, so let us think it madness to 

cast off such an old friend as Christ. And under 

temptations and desertions, let our faith hold fast by 

this — Alpha and Omega change th not ; the change is 

in us. 

3. The third thing in the words is a promise of the 

* Permit God to shew. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 237 



water of life to the thirsty — ^' I will give unto him that 
is athirst of the foujitain of the water of life freely'^ 
(Isaiah Iv. i, and John iv. 14). Christ at the market- 
cross cries the well free. Here learn, 

I St. The thirsty and hungry souls are meetest for 
the water of life. What ! (ye will say) and are not all 
thirsty ? Yes ; all want the life of God, and the sap 
of grace, and are burnt and withered at the root ; but 
all know not their own want. Here is indeed a special 
comfort for the weak ones who say, " Oh ! I know 
Christ doth good to believers, to repenters, and to 
such as love Him ; but I dow not, cannot, win to 
faith and repentance, hope and patience ; I have too 
short an arm to rax* so high." Then, say I, have ye 
a desire — a hunger — for faith, and repentance, and 
love? Now, upon your conscience, speak the truth. 
I trow ye cannot deny it. Then your Lord bids you 
come — the well is open to you ; for hunger and thirst 
being next to motion, and the two properties that 
begin first with life, so every one that is new-born is 
lively, and hath a stomach for meat and drink. '^ Oh 
but," say ye, " I am many times, in my soul, at death's 
door. I have neither faith nor feeling. I am even at 
this — *God loves me not,' and the well is not ordained 
for me at these times." Would ye fain be at the well? 
In my mind ye cannot win away. In the children of 
God, when at the lowest ebb — even when faith, com- 
fort, joy, love, and disposition to pray is away — is 
there not a longing for a presence ? I speak to the 
conscience of God's child; lie not. David (Psalm vi.), 
when he thought God spake to him in wrath, was at, 
"How long, Lord?" — a cutting word. I think he 
looked like a hungry beast looking over the dyke ; he 

* Reach. 



238 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



would fain have a mouthful. He was going about to 
seek a slapp'-' to break over the dyke of his doubtings. 
And so it is with God's bairns, under their thirstf for 
the water of the well of life. See Canticles iii., when 
the kirk can get no speiring of Christ, and has no 
smell of Him, and cannot find the print of His foot, 
yet she is at this, " Saw ye Him whom my soul 
loveth ?'' And (chap. v. 8), '• I charge you, O 
daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my Beloved, that 
ye tell Him, that I am sick of love.'' Then let me 
now tell you weak ones who are Christ's companions, 
and who it is shall drink with Him, and get their 
hearts and heads full of the water of life — even the 
tender Christians that are aye seeking. The bairn in 
Christ's house that is most cumbersome, and makes 
most din for his meat, is the best bairn that Christ 
has. The bairn that is greeting^ ilk hour of the day 
for a piece and a drink — we say of such a silly thing, 
'' He would fain love." Aye, the cumbersomer§ that 
Christ's bairns be, they are welcomer. Na, He loveth 
the bairns best that have no shame, and are aye cry- 
ing, '' Alas ! black hunger, dear Lord Jesus ; I am 
burnt with thirst ; oh for an open cold fountain 1" 
Oh, it is a sweet thing aye to be whinging,|| and crying, 
and seeking about Christ's pantry doors, and to hold 
aye an eye upon Christ when He goes into the house 
of wine, into His Father's fair lucky wine-cellar, where 
there are many wines ; and boutH in at Christ's back ! 
But, in a word, have ye a good stomach? — much 
hunger and thirst ? Well, ye shall get much satisfac- 
tion of grace in Christ. Is there not a time when ye 
cannot get a presence, and ye have no pith to put up 

* An opening. t Opportunity of enquiring. 

X \Yeeping every hour. § Troublesome. || Whining. H Push. 



COMMUNION SEKAiONS, 239 



the door and bout in, but ye put it half up and blink* 
in? Love ye to pray, or desire ye but a desire of 
prayer? Hold on then; ye are right. The true 
desire is absolute, and not conditional. Xot like the 
sluggard that would have a crop, upon condition he 
might have a feather bed to lie on for fear of cold. 
Even so some would have heaven, upon condition 
that they might keep their lusts, and take their lusts 
with them. 

Now, who are they that are debarred from Christ's 
well ? Answer. Those who have gotten an ill drink from 
the devil, full of lusts, pride, and covetousness — full 
of love of the world. Such are they that have no 
stomach for Christ. Alas ! and woes me ! Christ 
standeth at the well's side, and crieth, " The back of 
My handf to you.'' The Lord Jesus gives such a 
vomit-drink, that they may grow wholesome and 
hungry again for Christ ; for till then they are never 
meet for Him. 

2nd. But, secondly, hunger is aye seeking through 
the house; for the belly can hardly play the hypocrite. 
The natural man is in darkness — he is in a sleep — it 
it is night with him. He is like a cumbersome bairn 
greeting in the night for a drink, and crying, '' Who 
will shew me any good ?" (Psalm iv. 6). And Satan 
is ready at his elbow with his dishful of the dirty, miry 
waters of lust to the w^orld; and he drinks till he 
sweats and tines J breath; and tines all sight and 
desire of Christ, " the Fountain of the Water of Life." 
It is true this fountain is said to proceed *^ out of the 
throne of God and of the Lamb" (Rev. xxii. i). But 
it is all one ; for the streams of the water of life pro- 
ceed from the fountain, Christ. How, then, is the 

* Look in. t I refuse you. + Loses. 



2 40 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



water Christ ? Answer. It is Christ-man^ dying, and 
sending out His heart's blood for quenching the 
thirst of such poor sinners as find the fire of hell 
at the stomach of their souls, burning them up with 
the fire of the wrath of God for sin. This is the well : 
this is why He is called " a fountain of the water of 
life." A man, burnt with thirst, nothing can quench 
him ; no, not a world of gold is so good as a drink of 
pure, cold, clean, fountain water. In a word, a soul 
wakened under sin findeth nothing in the world satis- 
factory to the soul's appetite but in Christ. Tell me, 
art thou a thirsty sinner after Christ ? Then thy soul 
is dead sick while ye get Him. Is a man faint, and 
fatigued, and way-worn? Lay him down on a soft 
bed, dry the sweat off him, give him a cold refreshing 
drink. In like manner, ye cannot speak such a word 
to a soul bursting under sin, as to lay it upon a 
crucified Christ. Oh, that is a soft bed ! His sinful 
soul being stretched upon the open wounds and warm- 
flowing blood of Christ. Oh, that is a soft bed ! Oh, 
but a part of Christ's blood is a refreshing, cooling 
drink to him ! A slave of hell to know that he is 
made a free heir of heaven — oh, that is sweet ! Hence 
it is that those who are wakened with the furies of 
hell, howbeit they know not yet what Christ is to 
them, yet this world cannot calm their conscience — 
because for men that are soul-sick and sin-sick there 
is no physic but one — only a *' drink of the well of 
life." And because they ken not the gate to this well 
of life, they, in despair, loup* out of this life into the 
fire of hell, through the madness of an awakened con- ^ 
science. A thirsty soul finds two things in Christ, 
never to be found in all the world or in anything else. 

* Leap. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



241 



ist. Christ takes off the hardness of sin. None has 
power to do this but He. All the pardons of sin are 
in Christ's keeping, and of Christ's making. It is His 
office to forgive sin. 2nd. They find in Him an 
influence and abundance of happiness, so as what 
they sought before in the creature, they find nowhere 
else but in Him. Then speak to them of gold — it is 
nothing to Christ. Speak of lands and lordships — a 
Saviour, and such a Saviour, is, and has another name 
to a sinner that is awakened. 

3rd. The text calls Him ''the water of life'' We 
see here there is some water that is rotten and ill- 
tasted. Will a thirsty man drink of it ? He shall 
not be the better. But the wholesomest water is the 
running spring; so all that sinners can get beside 
Christ is standing water. Let them drink in gold, 
and kingdoms, and lands ; these will never be satisfy- 
ing to a sick soul as He will be. And they who have 
drunk in these, at death would be content to spue 
them out again; they lie so heavy upon their stomach. 
But Christ is the cooling, wholesome spring — " the 
well of water springing up to eternal life." Now, to 
make our use of this. Seeing Christ is such a living 
well of water, how comes it that under the gospel 
there are so many dry and withered souls ? I answer; 
for God's part, indeed, God has not put an iron lock 
upon the well of life ; but Christ, by His word and ^ 
sacraments, opens the well in the midst of us, and for 
seventy years and more in this kingdom the well has 
been open — Christ and His messengers have been 
crying to dry souls. But now, for aught we see. He 
will close the well again. He has been setting out 
the means of life, and opening the booth-doors to give 
us freely, even to such as would take it ; but He gets 
no sale. Therefore He must put up His wares and 
Q 



242 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



go away, for men are not thirsty for His waters. But 
one thirsts for court and honour, another for lust and 
money, and a third for sinful pleasures. There be 
few stomachs gaping for Christ. They have not a 
vessel to cast down into the well and take up water. 
This is a fruitless generation. Oh, we loathe Christ, 
and Christ loathes us. We need speak no more of the 
call of the word. All the land — court, king, noble- 
men, and kirkmen — have spued the waters, by despis- 
ing grace and contemning the gospel; and in very 
deed, when we cast in clay and mud in Christ's well, 
and mix His worship with the poison of the whore's 
well of Rome, what do we else but provoke the Lord 
to close the well ? 

^^ I will give it freely r — So are all Christ's mercies 
given of gTace. His mercy is for nothing, and of free 
. grace. I grant the well is dear to Christ. Go4'^ 
j I] stice digged it out of His side, and heart, and hands, 
and feet. The man, Christ, got not this water for 
nothing ; yet He gives it to us for nothing, because 
He minds not to make a gain of us. We live upon 
Christ's winning. For know ye that Christ, who re- 
deemed many, did so, by the rule of justice, since 
''He gave Himself," and has bought all ''with His 
own blood ;" so that in this sense Christ was bought 
to us with blood, else we could not get Him, for He 
was both the price _.and the wares. So that, as far as 
we can see, it was decreed by the Lord, by order of 
justice, that Christ could not have lived and given to 
us the waters of life. It was dear water to Him ; for 
in the garden God deserted Him, and blood came 
out ; on the cross God bruised Him, and blood came 
out ; and that is the well we have here. We think 
we would have something to give to Christ for the 
water of life — some of our own righteousness — some 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



243 



of our own worthiness ; but this is plastered humiHty, 
watered* copper. And in doing so we refuse grace, 
and make grace to be no more grace; for if it be 
given for any worth in us, then it is no more grace. 
Let men here see, then, that the kingdom of grace is 
a good, cheap world, where the best things are gotten 
for nothing. And therefore, I think in this dear 
world, where all things go for money, whose court 
costs expenses, lands are dear, gold is not gotten 
for nought, and law^ is dearer than ever it was. Yea, 
paper and ink are dearer than jewels and gold rings 
w^ere long syne. Nothing now is bought for nought. 
Yet Christ for all that will not change His word. All 
things with Him are given gratis, and ye are welcome 
when all is done. Here we get no garments for 
nought, no physic for nought; but Christ gives 'Svhite 
raiment," ^' eye salve," and all for nought. Sinners 
say, '^ Lord, w^hat take Ye for the water of life?" He 
answers, *' Even nothing, and yet welcome." Christ 
plays not the merchant with His wares : He makes 
no gain, but cries, The well is free. No, says the Pope 
— not a drop of it, till ye tell dowoi money. That 
bloody Beast would sell the w^ater of Rome for gold. 
As meikle money — as meikle grace and forgiveness. 
Want ye money? (He swears) Ye shall not come 
here. Nothing in Rome without money. Fie, fie; 
the stink of the devil's world. Nay, but Christ is 
for nothing. Nay, justice giveth, money, and officers 
give money ; it is a dear world. But Christ and His 
word care no more for money than before.! 

Verse 7. " He that over com eth shall inherit all 
things ; a7id I will be his God and he shall be My 
son.:' 

* Plated apd gilded, f Than if theie were no Pope and world. 



244 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



1. Alway in this book John urgeth "fighting" and 
"overcoming" for heaven. We wonder much that 
God will not have poor men go to heaven but by 
fighting, seeing He might have sent us to heaven by 
a second heaven. But this is but a thought of men, 
that would make a new back-gate of their own to 
heaven. God advised well when He made His causey* 
to it, and ordained all His saints, yea, His own Son, 
to go that way. But it is easier for us to complain on 
God's decree than to obe}^, and to dispute than believe. 
Men have too thin skins. For health, they will cut 
a vein, or let a leg or an arm be cut off for fear of a 
fester ; and yet for " life everlasting " they are so, that 
they dow not venture a moment's pain. 

2. There are excellent promises made to the over- 
comers — to him that taketh heaven with stroke of 
sword and blood. For heaven is a besieged city or 
castle. There are many foes to fight against. Armies 
of sin with all their armour, and the deceiving and 
malicious world. The world has Eve's apple in one 
hand, and fire and sword in the other ; and the devil 
is the captain of the army. Now, here is a prize set, 
and an offer made to him that overcometh — to him 
that will mount up by faith and hope, and leap up 
into Christ's chariot, and betide him life, betide him 
death, will go through. But they are cowards that 
take a back-side, and let the devil coupt them in a 
gutter. But yet to lead men on, here is a promise, 
'' He shall inherit all things." Ye see that the Chris- 
tians' Captain is a man of a fair rent ; ''for all things 
are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the 
world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to 
come, all are yours" (i Cor. iii. 21, 22). And to let 

* Causeway ; good road. t Upset. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



245 



US see He bides* by the thing He has said, He says 
again, *' All things are yours." Yc see in this world 
one has a kingdom, as Asa, but wants health, and is 
sick of his feet ; he has not all things. Another, as 
Samson, had strength of body above any living, yet he 
had many troubles and wanted his eyes ; he had not 
all things. Oh, the business Adam's sons are at for 
inheritances ! Here a mailent — there a lairdship — 
there a new lordship. That they call their all things. 
I think this is a greedy style, and proud-like lordship 
or lairdship. Yet, greedy Adam's sons have more 
greediness here than wit. They run all upon their 
lordships, that they call the lordship of many things. 
*' Martha, Martha, thou art troubled" (Luke x. 41). 
Worldlings, ye are aye careful and troubled about 
this, to be called *^ My lord" of many things. But 
we shall see if the text be true. 

"/ am- Alpha aiid Omega^ — Ye will notice that 
Paul puts in " death " into the rent-roll. I think 
death an ill mailen ; better want it out of the charter. 
Nay, but death is also a part of the lordship this way 
(because it is " My lord of all things"), and a coach to 
glory — Christ Himself being the coachman and driving 
the horse. Death is the servant. As the wind serveth 
to bring the seaman home, so death serveth him that 
hath the new lordship. Death is Christ's ferry-boat to 
carry the Christian home, for in Christ he sets his foot 
on death's neck. It is a bridge over the river of hell 
that he walketh on to heaven ; and it is his. The 
Christian is advanced in Christ's court, and gets the 
new style to be " My lord of all things," the prince, 
the duke of all things. Yet I shall get you a lordship 
far ^inferior, but much sought for — the lordship of 

* Stands by; adheres to. t A farm. 



246 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



vanity or nothing. " Wilt thou set thine eyes upon 
that which is not ?" He that is rich has nought ; "for 
riches certainly make themselves wings — they fly away 
as an eagle towards heaven " (Prov. xxiii. 5). 

2. Again, if the Christian " inherits all ihings^^ the 
whole world is his, and so he wanteth nothing. (Psalm 
Ixxxix. 25), "I will set his hand also in the sea, and 
his right hand in the rivers." Here see how broad 
Christ's two arms are. His one hand upon all the 
sea, and His other hand upon the rivers. And that 
promise is made to Christ as principal cautioner of 
the covenant; for it is said (verse 26), "He shall cry 
unto Me, Thou art My Father, My God, and the rock 
of My salvation." Verse 27, "Also, I will make Him 
My first-born, higher than the kings of the earth," 
which is exponed of Christ (Heb. i. 6). Again, in 
Rev. x. 2, He has " His right foot on the sea and His 
left foot on the earth." Put these two together, and 
see how wide His arms and legs, or feet, are. They 
go over the whole world as His inheritance, which He 
won to Himself, and His heirs after Him, with His 
blood. Now, Christ got land not to Himself. What ! 
needed He land ? and to give His blood for clay ? 
But He won it to us, and took infeftment in the earth, 
in the name of His friends; so that in Him they inherit 
" all things." 

3. But here one may say, " How is it, then, that the 
saints are hungry and poor ? Answer, It is true, they 
are not now possessors of all things. But minors' 
wants* — ye see their interest is in and over all things, 
yet their tutor lets them go with a toomf purse. He 
knows the heir is a young one, and cannot keep gold, 

* Take the case of those under age ; they are often poor, 
t Empty. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 247 



and therefore he gives him food and raiment for his 
present necessity, but keeps the lordship till he be 
able to guide it. Even so Christ is made of God, our 
Tutor and Purse-Master. It is all one whether our 
wealth be in our chest-nook or if it be in Christ's 
purse, to keep till we need it, providing we want not. 

Another question and doubt is, " Seeing they are 
under so many troubles in this life, and have no ease, 
the saints have not ' all things ? ' I answer. Yes ; 
I must defend it, and say, if they have the inheritance^ 
they have all things, because the sweet and the com- 
forts of trouble is theirs. 

A third question or objection is. The saints have 
not heaven and glory, at least, in this life, and there- 
fore they have not all things. I answer, i. The 
promise is not fulfilled in this life. Yet, when a man 
has shorn a stock or two of corn, w^e say he '' has got 
harvest and new corn." So the believer gets joy, hope, 
faith, assurance of heaven, and the first-fruits of the 
Spirit. These are a foretaste of the full harvest and 
new com. 2. Having God and Christ, the saints 
have all things. For ye see the great ship draggeth 
the cock-boat after her, so the great Christ bringeth 
all things after Him at His back. So I say, having 
Christ, believers, ye have all things — ye have "the 
Father and the Spirit, the word, life, and death." 
Amen. 




SERMON XI. 

driirist and the ®otif.* 

Canticles ii. 14, 17. 

IN the 14th verse, there is (i) a style given to the 
Kirk; (2) a suit made; (3) a doubt answered. 
In the 15 th verse, a new doubt is answered, and a suit 
made. 

He calls her "His dove." He rues nothing that 
He said ; He bides by His word ; He calls her " His 
love, His fair one. His undefiled.'' He avows it, 
He bides by it; you are even My dove : yet He is not 
flattering her. If ye be Christ's, He will give you all 
your styles of honour ; He will speak much good of 
you, both behind your back and before your face. 

She is termed Christ's dove : — First. Because the 
dove is a fearful bird, and soon scared. (Hosea 
xi. II.), '^ They shall tremble like a dove out of 
Assyria." Any thing, the smallest noise or din that can 
be, frights and chases these timorous birds in their 
dove-house, into Christ. It is an happy rain that 
chases Christ's doves in to Himself. For all the 



* The full tide is : " Christ and the Dove's Heavenly Saluta- 
tions, with their pleasant conference together ; or a Sermon 
before the Communion in Anwoth, 1630. By that flower of the 
Church, Mr. Samuel Rutherford. ' 



COMMUNIOy SERMONS. 



249 



devil's wit, he is soon beguiled ; the storm that arises 
against the ship where Christ and His disciples are 
makes them to awaken and pray. 

Secondly. The dove is a mournful bird ; so are the 
doves of Christ mourning, and in tears. (Ezek. vii. 16.) 
" They that escape of them shall be on the mountains, 
like doves in the valleys, all of them mourning : every 
one of them for their iniquities." If ye be God's doves 
ye will have many a sorrowful day in the world. There 
are bloody wars betwixt the Kirk and the world. Keep 
the dove from the nest, and she mourns without; keep 
the Kirk from Christ, and she will break her heart. 

Thirdly. She is not a revengeful bird ; she has no 
other armour against the ravens and vultures, but her 
wings to flee away. God's children's best armour when 
they are wronged is, by faith in prayer to mount up to 
God. They must be like Christ. He went out of the 
world with many a wrong, and they are not yet re- 
venged. His blood is keeping to the last court-day. 
Christ sits^ with many a wrong in heaven; He has not 
gotten amends of those that spat in His face. Many 
a time the Kirk and her Husband, Christ, will be here 
wronged, albeit it be seen betwixt them. (Cant, v.), 
She shutst Him to the door, and lets Him lodge all 
night in the rainy fields. 

And then I^ourtJily, the Kirk is like a dove mourn- 
ing without a marrow \% for that fowl cannot want a 
marrow. If ye be God's doves, woe will ye be when 
your marrow, Christ, flies away : she falls aswoon, and 
her heart flies out of her when Christ flies away. 

Fifthly. The dove is an innocent, harmless bird ; 
she cannot offend. So is the Kirk ; the meek spouse 
of Christ will not marrow with a malicious house. 

* Puts up with tears. t Thrusts. X Spouse; match. 



250 C O MM UNI ON SERMONS. 



Sixthly. The dove is a silly, weak, tender fowl, 
and if they be compared to the rest of the birds, they 
are but counted the tenth of flying fowls. Surely 
God's Kirk in herself is but a weak bird and tender 
woman, compared in Rev. xii. to a woman with child 
lately delivered, and little betwixt her death and her 
life, if she be not carefully attended. A Christian is 
a tender thing ; a jewel in the hand of Christ. If He 
let us fall we are soon broken in pieces. We should 
pray that Christ may handle us softly, and not let us 
be tempted above our strength. The Kirk is called 
(Micah iv. 6) a cripple woman that goes only upon her 
one side. So surely we had need to come out of the 
wilderness leaning on our Beloved (Cant. viii. 5). 

Sei'efithly. And for their number they are but an 
handful (Isaiah vi. 13). The tithe or remnant, God's 
part, is but the tenth, and the devil has all the stock ; 
often God has one, and the devil nine; great need 
have we to labour to be of God's tenth. 

" My dove that dwells in the holes of the rockJ^ — We 
need not to go far off to seek the exposition of these 
words, for Christ is the rock upon which the Kirk is 
builded. (Matt. xvi. 18), "Upon this rock I will build 
My Church," says Christ. And (Psalm xviii. 2), "The 
Lord is my rock, and My fortress." And God is also 
^^ the secret place of the stairs, ^^ where the Kirk hides her 
from the storm. So David calls God his Secret Place, 
his Hiding Place (Psalm xxxii. 7). Thou art a Secret 
Place to me from distress ; Thou wilt preserve me 
(Psalm xci.) And because in all this song we must 
ever hold up the line and string of the allegory of 
marriage, and consider the Kirk as the spouse of 
Christ, the Rock is Christ ; in whom the Kirk dwells 
by faith, and Christ dwells in her heart (Eph. iii. 17). 
"Abide in Me, and I in you " (John xv. 4). Abide in 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 251 



Me, as branches imped* into the vine. Now the 
imp is ingrafted in a cutted stock; Christ was 
haggedjt hewed, and cut on the cross, the stock 
wherein we are ingrafted. So that the holes of the 
rock may well be exponed (as Bernard says) to be the 
wounds of Christ. So that the meaning is, O my dove, 
that by faith has thy abode in the wounds and the 
holes made in the hands and sides of crucified Jesus : 
or, O my dove, that believes, and that by faith has thy 
abode in the wounds, and abides in Christ as an imp 
ingrafted in a tree, in Christ, who died. And so, man, 
flee into Christ all wounded, and holed J for thy sin, flee 
into Christ, thy Rock ; and so into God (Psalms xviii. 
2). Hence we see what a Saviour the Kirk believes 
in ; a Saviour that's God and man ; as man to be a^ 
sufferer, and as God to be a supporter. There was' 
great necessity of these two natures. God would not 
seek payment of our debt off His Son as God ; for by 
the law He could not answer, for He was the creditor, 
and so could not be the debtor. And therefore, for 
the better understanding of this, I would have you 
with me to consider how our nature, and God's nature, 
work to other's hands in the work of our redemption. 
A sinner cannot dwell in Christ as God only. There 
is no hole nor chamber for a sinner to dwell in God ; 
and therefore Christ behoved to be man, that we might 
find fair chambers in the wounds of Jesus, wherein the 
doves of Jesus might dwell. And if He had been 
only man. He could not have been an House upon a 
Rock, and so could not have borne the weight of all 
the doves. But there be some questions in the work 
of our redemption that only man can answer. Man 
has sinned, and man must die, says God's justice. Be 



* Graft; inserted. t Hackei X Full of gashes. 



252 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



it so, says Christ ; Man sinned, and I, the Man, Christ, 
shall die. 2. Man took on the debt, therefore another 
cannot pay for him. Be it so, says Christ ; I, the Man, 
shall pay the ransom. 3. Man behoved to make 
amends, because man did the fault. Let it be so, said 
Christ ; I, the Man, Christ, shall make amends again. 
Secondly. If Christ had not been our Rock, there 
had been nu dwelling in Him, He would not have 
keeped wind and weather off us. Therefore, the 
Divine nature w^as a pillar on which the human nature 
did hang, and this is the cause why Christ-man leans 
to the Divine nature, as His warrant in all that He 
does. For if ye will consider in this work, there are 
three bargains, or covenants, so to speak. 

a. God and man bargained together; ye shall 
believe, that's your part. I shall give you live eternal, 
that's My part, says God. Now man dare not promise 
this of himself without Christ's bond to reHeve him, 
that is to enable him through His grace to believe. 

b. God bargains with His Son (Isaiah liii. 10), 
Son, if Thou shall lay down Thy life. Thou shall see 
Thy seed, and prolong Thy days, and have many 
fair children. (Psalm ii.). Ye shall have the heathen 
to serve you. (Heb. i.), I will be Your Father, and 
Ye shall be My Son. Christ is content, but He can- 
not do this alone ; He must borrow flesh and blood 
from man, and in it suffer. 

c. The Man, Christ, bargains with the Divine 
nature. The human nature says, I love man, and- I 
will die for him : the Divine nature says, now I shall 
hold Thee up under Thy sufferings, and Thou shall 
overcome death. The Man, Christ, without the back- 
bond'^ (to speak so) durst not for ten thousand worlds 

* Declaring the person free from the former bond. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



253 



have ventured to yoke*' in the fields with the justice 
of God, and death, and hell, and sin, and the devil — 
except He had the Divine nature in a personal union 
to bear Him up under His sufferings. Therefore 
Christ, when He looks upon His sufferings, looks 
also upon His warrant. (Isaiah 1. 6), *^ I gave My 
back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that 
plucked off the hair." These be the words of the Man, 
Christ. 

Now, it might have been said, A man will suffer all 
that his alone ;t but here He looks to His warrant 
(verse 7) and says, I have My warrant with Me, "the 
Lord God will help Afe, J shall not be confotmded.^^ I 
have God's warrant, who is united to Me in a personal 
union to bear Me up. Even sick-like | Christ goes 
down to the grave. (Psalm xvi. 10), *'Thou wilt 
not leave My soul in hell (or the grave), neither wilt 
Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption." As if 
Christ would say ; I am sure, O Lord, Thou will be as 
good as Thy word, and make good Thy bargain, and 
>vill warrant Me against death. See then how it goes; 
the Man, Christ, takes man by the hand to bring him 
out from under God's \vrath. So, beloved, be glad in 
such a Saviour; come all into the Rock, for God, 
Christ, and man, all these three are linked together as 
in a chain, and Christ in the middle link of the chain. 
Kow, let all the kings of the earth that boast of fair 
houses and stately palaces, come and see if they can 
compare with the dove that dwells in the holes of 
the Rock. Nebuchadnezzar said. Is not this great 
Babylon that I have built? Surely men are to be 
rebuked that are careful for houses and settling in the 
world, and has no assurance of this lodging. AVorld- 

* Engage with. f By himself. % In such a manner. 



254 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



lings are but ravens that big* in the wild mountains. 
The Kirk is only at home bigging in faith. These be 
indeed dear chambers, being built by Christ Himself. 
God has made holes and windows in Christ that His 
doves may flee into, and make their nest in His heart. 
O dear and precious dwelling ! the lodging cost us 
nothing, yet we are desired to dwell in it. 

Now what is Christ's petition ? " Cause Me to hear 
thy voice J^ Its ordinary for man to beg from God, for 
we be but His beggars ; but it is a miracle to see God 
beg at man. Yet here is the Potter begging from the 
clay ; the Saviour seeking from sinners ! What is His 
suit ? It must be some great thing ; it is even a sight 
of His bride. He is even saying to her. My deai 
spouse, be kind to Me, let Me see thy face, be not 
blaitet and wavering; be plam with Me, your Hus- 
band, tell Me all your mind in prayer. I dehght to 
hear your lisping and hisping, and speaking to Me 
in prayer. Ye may see all the wooing comes on 
Christ's side of it ; she cannot hold up her face, or let 
one love-blink on Christ, but as He commands her, 
and wakens her up. She is a sour bride of herself : if 
she laugh, it is He that makes her rejoice by the Holy 
Spirit that is given to her (Romans v. 5). She keeps her 
chamber and is ashamed to go forth ; He bids her be 
kind and shew her face. We cannot love Him till He 
first love us (i John iv. 19). We run because He 
draws us (Cant. i. 4). (John vi. 44), We apprehend 
Christ, but we are first gripped of Him (Phil. iii. 12). 
Beloved, there is great skill in wooing Christ, every 
bride has not the gate J of it, but He must teach us. 

In all other matches ye will find two things that are 
not here, a. In other matches the bride makes some 

* Build. t Shy. X Right way. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 255 



wooing of her own sort ; but here men cannot move 
but as Christ's Spirit woos in us, and teaches us. b. In 
other contracts the bride and her friends are bound for 
their part, the bride has some tocher" of her own, or she 
may be an heretrix,t she may have all and he nothing. 
But here the bridegroom in this contract is obhged for 
all, He gives His name for Himself and His wife. 
(Ezek. xxxvi. 27), ^^I will put My Spirit in you, and 
cause you to walk in My judgments/' Here the Kirk 
has no tocher of her own, and yet she has not the good 
manners to look up to her Lord, but as He commands 
and holds up her head : all the tocher is Christ's, and 
the inheritance is Christ's ; the Kirk has nothing. He 
has the houses (John xiv. 2). He has the land (Rom. 
viii. 17). He has the fine gold (Rev. iii. 18), and buys 
the spouse the clothes of the religion that came in with 
her Saviour, Christ, and that is the best religion in the 
world ; for it gives most to God and least to man. I 
will tell you who are meet for Christ, even those that 
are out of themselves, and lays all upon Christ. The 
best scholars that Christ gets are publicans and sin- 
ners, harlots, blind, lame, cripples, and such like, and 
such as feel themselves sinners. Look, how much 
you trust in yourselves, and rest upon the world, and 
love your lusts, as far ye are from Christ. And when 
ye are all out of yourselves and changed into God's 
image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord 
(2 Cor. iii. 18), then ye are meet for Christ, begging 
poor sinners are our Lord's scholars. The lintel-stone 
of our Lord's school-door is a low stone, ye must stoop 
low and lout. J Ye will be on your knees with it or 
ye§ can win in; ye must be very humble, else that 
stone will take your head and ding you back, and ye 

* Dowry, f Heiress. % Bend down. § Before you can get in. 



256 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



will not win in. Then be fools that Christ may be 
your wisdom (i Cor. i. 30). There is as much merit 
in Christ as will buy a thousand heavens. Now if our 
wooer; Christ, were not kind, and sought our kind- 
ness (even words of us), and brought love-tokens, the 
friendship betwixt Christ and us would soon wear out 
of date, and grow cold. Christ aye blows at the coal 
ere it wear out : Christ would win a friend, yea a foe, 
to be kind to Him. He is aye threaping^ and claim- 
ing kindness of us, as if He were the beggar and the 
poor man, and we the king. O, He claims kindness 
to us : then surely we need not think shame of our 
Friend. Would ye ken for whom Christ died, and 
prayed ? even for dyvours, such as swore themselves 
bare,t and came out of prison upon caution, or a cessio 
bonorum.X Poor men that have been upon the dyvours- 
stone, and are far from payment by the dyvour bill, 
when there is not a finger in all your hand fastened 
upon yourself, then ye are meet for Christ. For who 
are better met and yoked than a poor, sick, dying man 
and a skilful physician; who is better yoked than a 
crying, begging sinner, and a rich Christ ? But oh it 
is oftimes not so ! for Christ would give us more nor§ 
we will receive. He scatters His gold; we proud 
beggars will not bow our back, and lout down and 
gather. He would fain sell, we will not buy ; so there 
will be no blocking. 

Let Me see thy coimtenance. — An allusion to Israel, 
that was to present themselves before the Lord thrice 
a year in the tabernacle ; the meaning is. Walk before 
Me. It is not enough that thou beheve, and so dwell 



* Insisting on ; pressing. 

t Declared on oath that they kept nothing. 

X Giving up all they had. § Than. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



257 



by faith in the holes of the Rock ; but thou must also 
shew thy faith by good works and prayers, and wor- 
shipping of God. Christ loves not professors that 
never wan* to love to pray, and such as hate not the 
world. But you will see they are believers by their 
holy living (Matt. xiii. 23). The word of God is seed 
sown that brings forth thirty, sixty, and an hundred 
fold. Ilkf boll brings out thirty ; ilk sermon, ilk Com- 
munion should bring out an hundred good works. 
Beloved, God's land is set at an high price ; He is a 
Master that will have all His own from His tenants \ 
and as the Song says (chap. iv. 2), Every one of God's 
sheep brings out twins. There is a ground that drinks 
in rain from heaven, and yet brings forth briers and 
thorns, it is near a curse. Bring forth fruit, or else ye 
will make God say, My curse and God's malison be 
upon thy heart, thou hearest much, and bringest forth 
no fruit. Therefore beware ; a tree that once gets a 
daddj with God's axe, it will never do well again. Ye 
shall become like the girdle (Jer. xiii. 17) which the 
prophet did hide at the river Euphrates ; it was pro- 
fitable for nothing, it was marred, it shall never go about 
God's waste again. Beware, then, that ye be not blasted 
professors and fruitless Christians ; but be ye always 
in His sight. For there be some that come never in 
God's sight, they are God's dyvours : they are aught- 
ing§ so much that they dare not come to God, and 
comptll and pay — outlaws and borderers that come 
not, or keep not Christ's kingdom, but run like wild 
asses and dromedaries up and down the mountains, 
and snuff up the wind at their pleasure. I compare 
their life to those that j:de post. Many a horse has 

* Got the length of loving to pray. t Each ; every. 

X Knock. § Owing. |1 Reckon. 

R 



258 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Satan in his stable; and when these outlaws have 
wearied in their greediness after sin, and have gotten 
they know not what, they mount upon a fresh horse, 
some upon pride ! and if they ride once out of God's 
sight, they run till they be in hell in the end : for the 
devil is upon the horse and the rider. God seeks 
dear, and for His money ye must give Him more than 
ten in the hundred : for five talents, He must have ten 
again ; He must have double stock. Look what grace 
ye receive by weight ; render to Him His own in weight 
and more : if His gold want an ounce. He will cast it 
to you again : for one boll's sowing ye must give Him 
thirty again. God would have His servants aye keep- 
ing His chamber; if they go their own length from 
Him, He misses them. Ye must not be God's cham- 
ber pages, and steal out of His presence, and give the 
devil a baggage-yoking.* Nay, He must aye see your 
face, and hear your voice. There be many that would 
serve God, and be in Christ's school; but they are like 
souls that take the play, and run to play, sometimes 
with the world, and the devil, and love to sport them- 
selves with the world and the devil. But God's scholars 
may not take the play. 

" Let Me see thy facc.^^ — The Kirk might have said, 
Dear Lord, my face ! Oh dost Thou desire to see my 
face, it is very black, I am sun-burnt, sin hath made 
me deformed ; and for my voice it is both harsh and 
mistuned. What then says Christ ? I think not so. 
My dear spouse ; I think it is a fair face. I think ye 
have a sweet voice. It is great comfort for God's 
children when they rise many times off their knees 
from prayer with a woe heart,t thinking, because they 
have no heart, nor feeling, nor sense, that God is 

■ A help ill his work. t Sad. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



259 



offended with their prayers, and thinks little of their 
works ; when as their prayers, and tears, and works 
are accepted before God. Ye think nothing of one 
tear, yet God puts it in His bottle ; and nothing of 
one sigh, but God gathers it in His treasure. If God 
thought of us as the world does, and as we think of 
ourselves, oftentimes woeful would our case be ; but 
God has not a pleasanter sight in the world than the 
face of a child of God. No music delights Him more 
nor the sighs and tears, complaints and prayers ot His 
children. See ye not the Spirit of God bringing in 
Christ, longing for a sight of His wife, longing for a 
word of her (Prov. viii. 31). Christ rejoiceth, and 
sports, and plays in the habitable parts of the earth, 
and His delight is with the sons of men. Ye will see 
more of this upon the last words of this Song. 

" Take lis thefoxes^ — Its a speech of Christ to the 
Kirk, to take, convince, censure, rebuke, cut off, and 
excommunicate all inordinate livers and offenders in 
the Lord's vineyard (Ezek. xiii. 4). O Israel, thy 
prophets are like foxes in the deserts (Jer. xii. 10). 
Many pastors have corrupted My vineyard. O what 
can there be upon the earth to make a Kirk happy, 
but it is here. To hear a Kirk sick of love for Christ, 
and hear Christ sick of love for His Kirk : Christ's 
left hand is under her head, and His right hand doth 
embrace her : she is His fair one. His love, His dove. 
His undefiled. She dwells in the wounds of her Lord 
by faith. Yet for all this, His Kirk is a vineyard that 
has many foxes in it to destroy the vines ; so that we 
see, so long as God hath a vineyard there will be foxes 
in it to destroy the vines ; that is, crafty men, false 
teachers, deceitful workers, transforming themselves 
into the apostles of Christ (2 Cor. i. 13). Paul planted 
a Church in Ephesus (Acts xx. 28), yet after his 



2 6o COMMUNION SERMONS, 



departure, grievous wolves entered in, not sparing the 
flock. Surely in this life marches are not redd betwixt 
God and the devil; the devil files the score* and 
comes over the march upon God's bounds (Matt, 
xiii.) God sows His wheat, and the devil steals up 
the rigg, and with hot furf he sows his tares (i Kings 
xxii.) In Achab's court there is never an honest 
man. Till he be tried, the false knave and truth 
are door neighbours, (i Kings xxii.). In Achab's 
court there is an honest man that tells the king the 
truth ; but there are four hundred false knaves that 
say against him, and, poor man, he must to prison, and 
they get leave to keep the court. For the thief is ever 
the honest man till he be tried ; the false knave and 
the truth are door neighbours, and almost twins born 
at one time; howbeit truth be eldest and first-born. 
Isaiah complains (chapter Ivi. 2) of dumb dogs that 
could never have enough. In Jeremiah x.. He complains 
of many pastors that corrupted the vineyard. Ezekiel 
complains of foxes. Zachariah (xi.) of idol shepherds. 
Hymenoeus and Philetus spoke against Paul. The 
Sadducees in Christ's days denied the resurrection. 
And not only are there false teachers in our days, but 
in the best kirks were, and are many foxes ; for all is 
not fish that comes in the net. And if ye be God's 
sheep, ye must not think to want foxes to nibble, and 
to work under the earth to destroy you. Ye may not 
lookt that Christ is Master of the fields without blood. 
Ye will not be long in prosperity in the world. There 
be a number of foolish people wonders that God brings 
such a good Husband that should not hold out the 
foxes from His own vineyard. They would have a 

* Erases the line. + When the furrow is new ploughed. 

X Expect to find. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 261 



Christ of gold, and a Kirk of velvet, or of fair white 
paper. They think Christ's bride should be clad in 
purple and scarlet, as the whore of Rome is, or does 
wear. 

I will show you how Christ and His Kirk meet. 
When the bridegroom wooed His Kirk, many a black 
stroke got He both of God and man. He was the 
Vine, God and man strake at Him with axes ! He 
bought her dear ; it cost Him blood ere He got her. 
And think ye she has fair weather when she woos 
Him ? Nay, many a cuff"' gets she from the world ; 
this fox and that fox pulls the skin off her. She is 
hardly handled in this wooing, there be strokes on 
both sides : for fain would the devil have the contract 
cancelled, and the marriage going back. And let me 
speak to you that are God's young vine ; make you 
for it,t the foxes of the world will peel the bark off you. 
If there be grace in you, they will do what they can 
to eat it up in the bud. Hold your hands about the 
grace of God, be not robbed ; if ye give them their 
will, they would pull the skin off your face. 

Ye see Christ hath gotten out letters of caption,? 
against all His foxes. Here is a commission obtained 
in Christ's court, that all that hurts Christ's vineyard 
should be apprehended and laid fast ! but alas ! the 
commissioners, the pastors, the judges, over-see§ them. 
But here a comfort for you, who are the Lord^s vines, 
that are troubled with foxes. I assure you, that the 
Kirk has law against all her enemies. Be not casten 
down, because the world hates you ; twenty-six hun- 
dred years syne, Christ hath given out a decreet 
against all His enemies, and yours, to take them. 

* Blow with the hand. t Lay your account with this. 

X For legally apprehending the person. § Overlook. 



262 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



Here ye have assurance ; your enemies are rebels, and 
all of them under caption. (Psalms ex. 6), " He shall 
fill the places with dead bodies. He shall wound the 
head over them, even in many countries." Ye that 
complain of your predominant sins, and think ye are 
hardened with them (for these also be foxes that do 
harm the Lord's vineyard), fight against them, for 
Christ has given out a decreet against those that they 
shall be taken. 

" My beloved zs inineP — These be the words of the 
contract of marriage ; for there is a covenant betwixt 
Christ and His Kirk (Ezekiel xxxvi. 26), "I will be their 
God, and they shall be My people." But here there is 
a doubt to be answered by these words : it would seem 
Christ and His Kirk are two different parties in the 
contract, Christ upon the one side, and the Kirk 
upon the other. Is not Christ upon the Kirk's side, 
and obliges for His wife? I answer; Christ, having 
two natures, has two contrary considerations. He is 
one party, and we another ; and so He promises to us 
life eternal, and we promise by His grace to believe. 

Christ is considered as Mediator, God and man, 
and so He is upon our side ; for the promise is made 
to Him and His; and He, as principal contractor, 
binds for us, and we are His assignees. So Jesus 
skips betwixt both the sides, because He is a friend to 
both. But it is certain these very words proves Him 
to be on our side of the covenant, because our Beloved 
is ours, and we are His; He is our Mediator, and 
Cautioner bound for us. The very words of the cove- 
nant are spoken to Christ (Psalm Ixxxix. 27), ^^ I will 
make Him My first-born, higher than the kings of the 
earth :" and He said (verse 26), "He shall cry to Me, 
Thou art My Father, My God, and the Rock of My 
salvation; My mercy will I keep for Him for evermore, 



COMMUNJON SERMONS, 263 



and My covenant shall stand fast with Him." The 
enemies of grace would have Christ a God folding His 
fingers, and a looker-on, and beliolding fair play. Liars ! 
He is more than half play-Master ! The devil will not 
get His name out of the contract ; and, beloved, see 
ye not but it is a sweet thing to have anything to do 
with Christ. His chaff is better than other men's 
corn ; if ye have any fastening* with Christ, the cause 
is won. Now hold you by Christ. It is a shame for 
Him that ye fall out of the covenant, because He is a 
Cautioner. As ye know, it is a shame for a nobleman 
that his poor friend be cast in prison for the debt that 
he is obliged to pay. Christ is naw obliged that He 
fulfil the covenant, and make good both your part, and 
Jiis part. Boast not of yourselves, or of your own 
strength: be not proud of yourselves, but ye shall 
have full liberty to boast yourself of Christ. Crackf 
enough of Christ ; be proud of Christ's merits, ye can- 
not err there. The debt of faith and obedience that 
we are aughtingj to God now (to speak so), is not our 
debt but Christ's, and He is Cautioner for us. It were 
a shame that a poor friend should be imprisoned for 
his chiefs debt, especially since He is a rich man and 
able to pay. 

Now let us consider the mutual interest Christ and 
the Kirk has every one of another ; '' He is mine, and 
I am His ;" He is my Husband, and I am His wife ; 
He is my head, and I am His body : He is my King, 
and I am His people ; He is my rich Cautioner, and 
I am His dyvour. I^et us see what claim Christ has 
in the Kirk, and what claim the Kirk has in Christ. 
Now, to liold§ upon the comparison of this song betwixt 
a husband and a wife. The husband and the wife have 

* Sure connection, t Speak often. % Owing. § Continue. 



264 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



no sundry" goods ; if he be a king, she is a queen ; if 
he have a fair inheritance, it is hers also, as long as 
she lives j if they live ever together, it is ever hers. 
Then when she says. He is mine, I am His, Christ is 
mine, and I am His, and all His, His flesh and His 
blood ; His death and merits ; His glory ; His king- 
dom ; His court and credit, and all is mine ; and all 
mine is His, my soul and body, my sins, my trouble, 
my cross, they are all His. Christ and she are (to 
speak so) carded through other. (John xv.), "Abide in 
Me, and I in you." Cursed be he that says not amen 
to that. (John xvii. 21), '' That they also may be one, 
as Thou, Father, are in Me, and I in Thee, that they 
also may be one in us ; I in them, and they in Me." 
But v/e will labour to reduce them, the particulars to 
a certain number. There be these things common to 
us betwixt Christ and us. 

I. There is a sibnessf of nature betwixt Christ and 
us. There be pawns given and received betwixt both 
sides. He has a pawn of ours, our flesh, and He took 
that pawn with Him to heaven, and He is never 
minded to give it again. But we have as good a pawn 
of Him, His Spirit. We were of that flesh and blood 
(Heb. ii. 14). Let us keep Christ's pawn, as long as 
He keeps ours ; let Him not be to the forej with us. 
Now He keeps our pawn for ever ; He will never lay 
do^vn our flesh; we are never minded to lose the 
pawn, let Him keep it for ever ; long may He keep it. 
Let us keep His Spirit ; for it is not His will to loose 
that pawn ; let Him keep it for ever (Heb. iv. 2). 
Christ would also be a bairn and partaker of flesh and 
blood. Would to God ye would all strive to get His 
pawn, and to keep it well ; seek His Spirit, and keep 

* Separate. t Relationship. J Get beyond us. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 265 



it well. Worldly men, ye have little claim to Jesus ; 
God help you, there is no borrowing nor lending be- 
twixt you and Christ. 

2. There is community. We got all His good, and 
He gets all our ill, that's a good coss* for us. He took 
our curses, we took His blessings ; He our shame, we 
His glory ; He our sins, we His righteousness : He is 
the Kirk's, and the Kirk is Christ's. That day God 
laid upon Christ, we were shifted out from under 
God's wrath ; and God struck the Kirk's Head, to let 
the members go free. When Christ was in blocking! 
to buy His Kirk, He knew the faults in the wares ; He 
kend well enough that curse of God, and wrath of 
God, and hell, and sixi, and many ills followed the 
Kirk. Yet Christ would not rue in time; He said 
freely, I will take her, and all the ills that follow her, 
howbeit she be blind, lame, yea, a cursed bride ; yet I 
will make her My wife. Would to God we could take 
Christ and all the faults that follow Him. There be 
men that will not coss with Christ ; but will keep their 
will, their lust. God was about to strike us, and had 
lifted (to speak so) His wand to bring a stroke of His 
wrath upon us ; and Christ came in, and held His 
hand, and laid down Himself, and bade His Father 
lay upon Him. Ye never saw such a suiter as Christ ; 
He prays us to coss for the better. He cries to you 
for God's sake give Me your dross, and ye shall get 
My gold; give Me your sins, and I give you My 
righteousness. Is it not an hard matter? Men will 
not give their ill to Christ, and transfer and give over 
their sins to Christ. He says to you. Give Me your 



JtXxchauge. This word is in Gawin Douglas. It is Anglo- 
Saxon "to barter:" sometimes spelt *'coos." 
t Barg^aining. 



266 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



lust that I may crucify it, and I will give you love for 
it : give Me your anger, and I will give you My zeal 
for it. Then make a coss and take Him at His word, 
ilk day be making new blocks" with Christ. Deny 
your folly, and give it to Him to crucify ; and seek ye 
His wisdom, you must do this ever, till all nature be 
away and done, and nothing in you but grace. 

3. There is a community of gifts and graces betwixt 
Christ and us. Not a grace we get from God, but it 
comes through Christ's hands to us; so that Christ 
keeps the pawns betwixt God and us. God gives 
grace to His Kirk, but where is it? It is in Jesus. 
Grace is laid in pledge in the hands of Jesus, and it 
was made a running over fountain. For as we see in 
a race, the wage,t or the garland, is not in the hand of 
the runners, but some friends keeps the stakes J for 
both : so Christ keeps the wage for the Father and us. 
Christ indeed is the Fountain (John i. 14), "We beheld 
His glory, as the glory of the only begotten Son." 
Some friend keeps the stakes § for both. There the 
Well is running over, but for what end? (verse 16), 
*' That out of His fulness we might all receive, even 
grace for grace." So God gave us life eternal. But who 
has this life in pledge ? Even Jesus Christ, (i John 
v. 11), "And this is the witness that God hath given us, 
even eternal life ; and this life is in His Son." Lord, 
send us part of this consigned grace. Again, ye send 
not up a sigh to God, but first it must be laid down in 
the hand of Him that keeps the pawns (Rev. viii. 2). 

(By the way I shall give the use, with every article of 
the doctrine.) Try thy light, try thy grace, try thy 
honour, and credit, riches, and all the blessings that 
ye have ; the silver and the gold, whether these bless- 

* Bargains, t The deposit. % Money deposited. § The pledge. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 267 



ings be impawned^ in Christ's hand orf ye get them. 
If ye get them not in Christ, they are unchristened 
blessings, and they want the fashion. |. Woe be to 
these blessings that came never through Christ's holy 
hands. Again, try your prayers, sighs, and desires, 
and your service, if ye offer them to God in Christ. 
Many unchristened prayers go to heaven that are 
never welcomed of God. Ye must take your com- 
munion out of God's hand; at the nearest, out of 
Christ's hands. There should be nothing done be- 
twixt God and us, but Christ should be at it. 

4. There is a community of sufferings betwixt 
Christ and us. Poor would we be, if His sufferings 
were not ours ; woe would be our case if His sufferings 
were not ours. But this way it goes; He is that 
apple tree excellent above all the trees of the forest, 
and we do rest under the tree. Now when the shower 
of rain falls, it lights first on the tree, and the stroke 
of it is broken, and it does not great harm to those 
that are under the tree. Each new shot at the Kirk, 
lights first on the head of Christ, and He breaks the 
point of the arrow. If ye be ill spoken of, so was He ; 
if ye be hated of the world, so was He ; if your blood 
be shed, and your face deformed, so was His fair face 
deformed and marred (Isaiah lii. 14). Be content to 
drink with Christ. Woe be to them that are not in 
Christ, and yet are in trouble : the arrow with the 
sharp point comes upon them, and goes to their heart, 
and slays them. Try if your troubles be christened 
troubles, that light first upon Christ, the Head, and 
then upon you as the members. Try if by faith ye 
have an union with Him. Now here by the way is a 



* Pledged to you. t Before. 

X Like clothes that have not the proper cut. 



268 C OMMUNION SERMONS, 



great comfort in trouble : those that are dear to you 
die, and ye mourn : Christ mourned and groaned in 
spirit for dead Lazarus : ye weep, so He weeped. 
Are ye poor and aye at the borrowing? so was Christ 
at the borrowing trade all His days ; should ye not 
then with good-will drink off the cup that He drank 
off before you. When ye murmur, and will not drink 
willingly, ye refuse to pledge Christ : but ye must 
pledge Him, and drink with God's blessing, and with 
joy; He will not poison you. They are none of 
Christ's friends that will not pledge Him (Matt. xx. 21). 
5. There is a community of glory betwixt Christ and 
us. The heaven that the Mediator, Christ, enjoys, is 
our heaven ; our heaven is to the Man Christ in a 
conquest : heaven was bought with blood to Him 
and us. And to make you rejoice, none of God's 
children gets a heaven properly of their own ; why ? 
We got a share and part of Christ's inheritance. He is 
the principal heir (Rom. viii. 5). We are the con- 
junct heirs. Sweet is that word which He speaks to 
His children. (Luke xxii. 29), "And I appoint unto 
you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto 
Me, that ye may eat and drink at My table in My 
kingdom, sitting on thrones, judging the twelve tribes 
of Israel." The meaning is, My Father hath made a 
disposition" to Me of the kingdom of God. It is 
Mine; and, My dear children, I will think heaven 
uncoutht if ye be not with Me. Here I make a dis- 
position and resignation of that kingdom to you ; ye 
shall sit at My table in My kingdom. Up your heart ! 
howbeit ye be not lords in earth ye shall be lords in 
heaven; I and ye shall part kingdoms and thrones 
tosrether. 



* Handed over to. t Strange. 



CO MM UN 1 02^ SEKMONS, 269 



Rejoice in this, ye that are in Christ, and see your 
condition, ye and Christ are halfers* together of heaven 
and glory. Of if God's children be in a sweet case. 
As long as Christ is in heaven and keeps the inheri- 
tance, as long shall we keep our right ; and who can 
cause Him flit ?+ The devil hath made the enemies 
of the grace of God to miskeng all our communion 
with Christ. They have put Christ and the elect 
together as a man in an inn for a night, and to go 
away to-morrow. They have yoked Christ and us 
together as if He were one and we another ; as if He 
were His own, and we were our own ; as if Christ had 
no law and right to us, and we had no law and right 
to Christ, but met at a venture, and sundered at a 
venture ; as if we had one heaven, and Hs had 
another ; as if He had His portion by Himself alone, 
and that He keeps for ever; and that we had our 
share by our alone, |1 to sell when we pleased, so as if 
we dispone heaven, we dispone not Christ's heaven. 
Nay; in the fighting. He fights all the battles His alone; 
We but look on : but when it comes to the dividing of 
the spoil, we get a rich share of the spoil. Yea, He 
gave the whole sum for the inheritance, and we no- 
thing ; yet we are set at His elbow in a throne with 
Him. Now seeing our rights are good, slip not from 
them : do not as some unworthy heir, who having a 
good right, slips from it for a feckless composition after 
drink, and quits all, howbeit he should beg. Indeed 
the wicked do this. The devil drinks them blankful,^ 
and fills them with worldly pleasures, and garrs** them 
subscribe a resignation, and gives them an unworthy 
composition, some present pleasure. Compone not 



* Sharers. t Oh surely. X Remove. § Misapprehend. 
11 All of ourselves. ^ Carte blanche. ** Forces. 



270 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



with the devil to go the law with him ; let Christ be 
your advocate, subscribe not a submission with the 
devil, come never in trysting* terms with him. Hold 
you aback from the world, and the lusts of it ; it is 
the devil's arles that he gives to silly drunken heirs. 
When they cry hills and mountains fall on us, they 
would fain give back the arles, and rue ; but it is out 
of time. 

" And I am HisT — This property of the covenant 
is mutual. As she says and acknowledges that He is 
hers, and so Christ is bound to her by His promise : 
so she acknowledges that she is bound to Him, and is 
His by right. Multitudes of the world would play 
fast and loose with Him : they would have Christ fast, 
and themselves loose. They devise a covenant of 
their own, and say, Christ died for all, and God is 
merciful to all, and God will relieve all Christian souls 
from hell; and they think God and Christ fast enough 
to them, but in the meantime they are loose, and live 
like dogs and swine in their filthiness. These men 
would have Christ as a child in making of the cove- 
nant, and exceeding silly. Should Christ give Himself 
for you, and will ye neither give life nor goods for 
Him? Christ came to save you (Matt. xx. 28), and 
will ye be His master ? Are ye not obliged to ser\^e 
Him ? This is to make a Gospel of your own : too 
many obey the Gospel as long as it flatters them. 
As long as it tells them Christ's part, and that He 
shed His blood, and came to save sinners freely : that 
is the best chapter in all the Bible ! But when the 
Gospel begins to tell them what is their part, and that 
they must deny themselves, crucify their lusts, and 
take up Christ's heavy cross, they start back. These 

* Never must listen to his terms. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



271 



are tender-footed Christians that walk in the law and 
in the Gospel, so long as they go softly on it as a bed 
of roses, and hurt not their feet : but when a thorn of 
the command touches them, they stand aback. Ye 
may not have God's law, and take as much of it as 
serves you. As Christ gave Himself to be yours, and 
has subscribed the contract; so give yourselves to 
Him, and subscribe your part of the contract to be 
His, as He is yours. Take therefore the law and this 
sweet Saviour both together, bind yourselves to Him 
to be His, as He is bound to be yours. 

^' Hefceddh among the lilies^ — To prove that Christ 
doth esteem her as His kirk and flock, His wife, His 
beloved; she says. He feeds her amongst the lihes. 
That is, the pure and uncorrupted word of God. Or, 
the lilies are the fruits of the Spirit, opposed to stink- 
ing roots, and bitter roots that grow in ttie Kirk, when 
judgment is like hemlock, or wormwood. Or, the lilies 
are the saints of God, that are lilies amongst thorns. 
However it be, it is certain the Lord feeds His Kirk 
with as much spiritual food as holds in their life in 
the way to heaven, till their day of marriage come 
(Rom. viii. 23). We receive here the first fruits. 
When a man has shorn a stouk'"'' of his corn-field, that 
puts him in assurance of the whole crop. God would 
have Israel to taste of the vine grapes of Canaan, to 
assure them they should get the land itself (2 Cor. 
i. 22), God hath sealed w^ and given us the earnest of 
His Spirit in our hearts. 

Here be two words, i. God does with His chil- 
dren in this life as a merchant does with his wares he 
has bought ; because he cannot transport them pres- 
ently, he puts a '' seaP^ or mark upon them, and then 



Cut down a stack. 



272 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



it may be sold to no other body. His children strike 
hands, He writes His name, and His arms, the image 
of God in their soul ; and then when the devil comes 
through the market to buy (for he offers aye money in 
hand, pleasure, lusts, honours), ye have an answer to 
give him. Tell him, your soul is sealed already ; you 
have blocked"^ with an honest Merchant, Christ; and 
He has put His mark upon you that ye may not sell ; 
and it were a pity to beguile Him. And, therefore, 
bid that deceiving loonf go seek his market in another 
place ; ye are not his merchant. The devil will pro- 
mise them as fair as God : he will not prig| with 
them : he will not care to promise much more than 
heaven. " Ye shall be like God P'' but he pays not so 
well as God doth. Agree not with him : block not 
with him. 

2. There is another sweet word used; that God 
gives to His children, ^'the earnest''' of His Spirit in 
this life; He gives them arles, faith, hope, joy. These 
be like six or seven shillings to warrant that ye shall 
get the principal. Beloved, God has blocked^ mth 
you, and given you arles. He would therefore that 
the bargain hold. Will ye then take God's arles, and 
block with the devil ? By God's arles ye have assur- 
ance of this, God will come and loose His arles ; rue 
not of the block, never any man had cause to rue the 
block with Jesus Christ. There is another word used 
(John xvi.) Christ is going to heaven to leave His 
disciples; He promised to come again to them to 
see them : how sorry were they to want Him, and 
blythell were they of that word that He said. He will 
come again. Therefore, in sign and token that He 



* Bargained. t Vagabond. X Try to lower the price. 
§ Made a bargain. |1 Glad. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



273 



would come again, He promised them a pawn ; that 
was His Holy Spirit. Ye know Christ and we are 
contracted in this life ; we will be maiTied again at the 
day He comes to judge the world. Now all the woo- 
ing time, there goes love tokens betwixt them, and 
missive letters. Tell me when ye got a letter last 
from Christ ? There will be messengers going betwixt 
you. This same word is a messenger; the Sacraments 
are love tokens that our Wooer has left to assure us 
that He is contracted with us. I pray you take no 
gifts from the devil ; away with ill conquests f away 
with lusts, and the love of the world. I hope ye are 
not minded to marry with sin; if ye do, ye are ashamed 
then for all your days. Ye are come off God's house, 
and are His image. Fy, it is a shame to hear tell of 
it, to marry with a base slave, the devil. I allowf you 
here to be wise and prudent in your marriage ; marry 
not for gear,; keep yourself to be a good match. 
There be a sort of indifferent men, that ye call harm- 
less men. They have neither good nor ill, they love 
not falsehood; they love not Popery, and yet they 
will not burn for the truth ; they are like blank paper 
as it is thought, neither God nor the devil has blocked 
with them. But has God given you no arles, nor no 
pawn? Satan will get you. But do this first, hold 
yourself with Christ, and then ye have an answer to 
give other lovers, the world and the devil. Ye may 
laugh and say, ye are too long in coming ; I have pro- 
mised myself away to another husband, and therefore 
I cannot have you also ; for I will not have two hus- 
bands (i Cor. vi. 19). The Apostle takes a reason to 
prove that the body should not be given to an harlot ; 
// is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Set the house of 

* Ill-g ytten property, f Advise, J Goods. 

S 



274 ^ OMMUNION SERMONS, 



your soul to God, and then for shame ye cannot win 
off Him to cause Him flit. " Ye are bought with a 
price." Married folk have not many wooers : the devil 
is busy to seek them that are virgins, and love not 
Christ to be their Husband. 

^' Till the day dawn;'" that is, the marriage day; 
and in Hebrew called, The Day for excellency. To 
say the truth, it is a day ! And called The Day of 
Christ, The Day of redemption (Eph. iv. 29,^2 Tim. i. 
12). It is called the day for these causes. It is the 
day when Christ is perfect in His members. Now 
Christ's body is mangled, arms, and legs, and hands, 
in sundry places ; some not bom, some born, but in 
the devil's service; some rotten in the earth, and 
casten in the sea. Christ is bleeding in His mem- 
bers ; there is many a wound in the mystical body of 
Christ this day. All will be gathered; in that day He 
gets His bride. He enters in peaceable possession of 
her. 

That day Christ shall give in His accompts, and all 
His Father's generally. He shall render an accompt 
of all that He took by the hand, and shall put up His 
sword, and never draw it again. And as the Chief 
Shepherd, He shall make an accompt of all His 
lambs, and tell His Father, these be all My silly 
sheep; they have win away with their life. I went 
through woods, and waters, and briers, and thorns, to 
gather them in, and My feet was pricked^ and My 
hands and My side pierced, ere I could get a grip of 
them ; but now here they are. Good cause shall the 
Lord have to clap Christ's head that day. And judge 
ye if ye will have a blyth heart, to hear Christ and His 
Father to compt* together, when ye shall be all stand- 

* Reckon* 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 275 



ing under the broad scarlet robe of Christ's righteous- 
ness, and as many glorified angels looking on. 

And every soldier that day shall shew his wounds 
to his Lord, saying, Lord, I have lost this and this for 
Thee ! And God shall clap our head, and take us 
benn* to His chamber of presence, all glorious tapestry 
there ! (Psalm xlv. 14). The Lord make you ready for 
that day. 

" A7id the shadows jflee away^^ or mist. This life is 
all but a night, because of the ignorance and darkness 
of our mind. We see but the portrait of the kingdom 
in the glass of the Word and sacraments. Then when 
that day dawns, we shall see Him face to face. So 
long as the night is, we do nothing but by the use of 
candle ; when the sun rises, the candle is blown out, 
lest we should burn day-light. The Gospel is God's 
candle to let us see the way to heaven ; but when it is 
day-light, and Christ lighted to us from heaven, then 
shall come light and heat from Him, clear light and 
knowledge that shall endure for ever. Our soul here 
is like an house in the night, w^hen doors and windows 
are closed. In that day the doors and windows shall 
be castf up, that the sun may shine for ever upon us. 
We shall not need to seek comm.unions ; the Lamb of 
God shall be present with you for evermore. (Rev. 
xxi.), " I saw no temple there, for the Lord God Al- 
7nighiy is theU' light'' We get but here the parings of 
God's bread, and a four hours'i drink, a slight after- 
noon's meal, to speak so. There the board shall be 
covered, and the great loaf set upon it, and all shall 
eat, and all be welcome, and the table shall never be 
drawn. Ye shall have your fill of Christ. Ye shall 



* Far in. t Be thrown open. t A luncheon, 



276 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



drink, and drink at the welFs head, the cup of salva- 
tion for evermore. 

It is night here, because we know not what we are. 
Marches are not redd* betwixt God and Satan here. 
We are but silly bodies here, earthen vessels often in 
trouble (i Cor. i.), and yet King's sons (i John iii. 2), 
^' Behold, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not 
yet appear what we shall be : but we know that when 
He doth appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall 
see Him as He is." A friend from a foe cannot be 
known in the night : care not what the world think of 
you, it is night, they cannot well see you. 

It is night, because of great trouble which besets us 
(Luke iii. i, 2). Let us be content with an hard bed, 
the morn will be a good day. And think ye what a 
comfort it will be to you, when God puts up His own 
holy hands to your face, and to your watery eyes, and 
shall dry them with the napkin of His consolation. 
Through this short night, lie still in peace, and sleep 
by faith in God. Be content to lie down in your 
grave for a night or two ; for your Husband, Christ, 
shall be at your bed-side soon in the morning. 

" Ttir7i, My beloved, and be thoic like a roe or a young 
hart upon the mountains of BetherT — As (Psalm Ixxi. 
21), Thou did turn about and comfort me. Turn 
about and come to me, as swiftly as a roe or a young 
hart upon the mountains of Bether. The mountains 
of division or separation, were Mount Gilead, severed or 
parted from the rest of the land of Judea by the river 
of Jordan ; in the which mountains, there was pleas- 
ant haunting.! Here, she desires His presence, either 
in the last judgment, or in His incarnation, or by the 
comfort of His Holy Spirit ; and prays that as roes 

* Matters are not settled. t Place for company. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



277 



and harts are not hindered any whit by any craigs or 
down-falls of the rocks to descend and meet one with 
another : so Christ would be kind to His love, and 
count mountains as valleys, and let no craigie-way* 
hinder the Lord Jesus to come. She can never get 
her fill of Christ ; she is so browdenf on Christ, that 
she ever would be at a union with Him, where is 
kissing (verse 7); in the place where He dwells (chap, 
xxiii.) under His shadow, in His cellar. We cannot be 
far enough on in going to Christ : we can never be 
near hand enough Him. J Cry ye to Him, Come ! for 
He crys to you, Come; and then ye will meet. Ill§ 
gate will not hinder our Bridegroom to come. He 
cares not for a shower of rain, or a dark night. He 
loupsll over hills to be at His Kirk. Give ye Him a 
meeting. Amen. 



* Rough. t Fond ; warmly attached to. 

Sufficiently close to. \ Bad roads. H Leaps. 




SERMON XII/- 

IT is Christ's will that His bairns get their fill and 
that they grow. Christ never had an hungry 
house, nor His Father before Him. There is bread 
and drink in His Father's house : eat and drink : 
much good may it do you, for ye get it with Christ's 
good-will, and with His heartsome blessing. Now in 
the strength of it work a good work to Christ, your 
Master. He gives His servants meat and drink with 
a good house in a new city. 

Who is this that hath His garments dipped in blood, 
yea, in red blood ? Know ye Him, beloved ? But He 
kens you full well. Come near Him, and stand not 
afar off. Christ says not, '^Look byf Me," but, "Look 
on Me, Whom you have pierced with your sins." Ye 
must not turn your shoulder to Him, but set your 
face toward Him. Love your new Husband well, and 
let all the old go and play themselves. RentJ your 
contract, that was betwixt you and your hearts' lusts ; 
and now Christ says, you shall have a better life than 
ever you had in your old husband's time. Provide 
much plenishing§ against the time ye and He take up 
house in heaven together. Christ is dressing all the 



* Properly, this should be called, Notes of an Address to a 
Scots congregation in London at the Communion table. It was 
given about the year 1643, during the sitting of the Westminster 
Assembly. 

t Look past Me. J Tear in pieces. § Furniture. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



279 



chambers and the hall for you up in your Father's 
house. Make away as fast as ye can. Take home 
your writs with you : Christ hath subscribed them. 
Take home the King's pardon with you, written with 
your Lord's own heart-blood, and the King's great 
seal at it : and stamp upon the seal Christ's arms, 
even the slain Son of God, hanging upon the Cross, 
subscribing a large dispensation to you. 

Now remember before witnesses ye are His. Have 
ye not reason to think that Christ is heartsome in His 
own house? He has made His wife a great feast 
to-day. Lie not down to sleep after your meat. 
Christ has fed you to run a race, even a race to 
heaven. Awake therefore ! In the Word and Sacra- 
ments Christ now takes you into the chariot with 
Himself, and draws your hearts after Him. Be Satan's 
and the world's footmen no longer, for it is a weari- 
some life. But ride with Christ in His chariot, for it 
is all paved with love. The bottom of it is the love 
of slain Christ : ye must sit there upon love. Love is 
a soft cushion : but the devil and the world make you 
sweat at the sore work of sin, and run upon your own 
feet too. But it is better to be Christ's horsemen and 
ride, than to be Satan's trogged* footmen, and to 
travel upon clay. Christ says. He has washen you 
to-day ; sin no more. Keep yourselves clean, go not 
to Satan's sooty houses ; but take you to your Hus- 
band, The Fairest among ten thousand, that your lovely 
Husband may make your robes clean in the blood of 
the Lamb. Ye are going into a clean heaven and an 
undefiled city; take not filthy clayey hands, and clattyf 
feet with you. What say ye of your new Husband ? 
Please J ye your new Husband well? May not His 

* Fatigued, t Dirty. % Perhaps it should be, " Pleases you T 



2 So COMMUNION SERMONS. 



servants say in His name that ye are heartily welcome 
to Him ? And may they not say in your name that 
He is heartily welcome to you? A plain answer? 
Ye cannot well want an half-marrow f no soul liveth 
well a single life. Now, seeing ye must marry, marry 
Christ. Ye will never get a better Husband. Take 
Him, and His Father's blessing. Be holy, and get a 
good name, and Christ will not want you. It is many 
a day since ye were invited to this banquet, why 
should you bide from it ? Ye are come not uncalled. 
Christ both sitteth and eateth with you, and standeth 
and serveth you. Christ both said the grace, and 
blessed the meat, and says it to-day, and prays, 
*'My Father's blessing be on the banquet." Your 
Father cries, " Divorce, divorce all other lovers ; go 
and agree with Christ, your Cautioner,! and purchase 
a discharge if ye can." It is better holding than draw- 
ing ; better to say, *^ Here He is," than, '* Here He 
was;" and, '^Slippery-fingered J I held Him, and would 
not let Him go." Rive§ all His clothes, and He will 
not be angry at you. In death. He held a strait grip 
of you. Hell, devils, the wrath of God, the curse of 
the law, could not all loose His grips of you. Christ 
got a claughtll of you in the water, and He brought all 
with Him. ' Look up by faith to Christ. Ye could 
never have been set up by angels. May not Christ 
say, The law took such a cleekU of Me, and drew Me 
here amongst thieves, for your cause ? And was not 
that strong love, that humble Christ cared not what 
they did to Him, so being He might get you ? 

In that night wherein our Lord was betrayed. He 
ordained the Supper for you upon His death-bed. He 

* Companion. f Surety. J I, who am so slippery. 
§ Rend. i| Seizure. ^ Seizure. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 281 



made His Testament, and left it in legacy to you. In 
death He had more mind of you, His wife, than He 
had of Himself In the garden, on the cross, in the 
grave. His silly lost sheep was aye in His mind. Love 
has a brave memory, and cannot forget. He has 
graven you upon the palms of His hands ; and when 
He looks to His hands and says, ** My sheep I cannot 
forget. Yea, in my death, Aly Sister^ My Spouse^ was 
aye in my mind. She took my night's sleep from Me, 
that night I was sweating in the garden for her.'^ 

When Christ was dead, and sleeping on the cross, 
and His side broken with a spear, until blood and 
water came out, the Lord was forming a wife for the 
second Adam, your Husband. In death He was 
doing and working what no wedded man could do, 
even blessing and embracing His beloved. Come ' 
near, and kiss dead Jesus. O but slain Christ has a 
sweet smell, even when He is dead ! What think ye 
of the smell of His love? AVhat think ye of itself? 
What of these feet, that went up and do\vn the world 
to seek His Fathers lost sheep, pierced with nails? 
He that healed the diseases of the lame and the blind, 
He is now blind Himself. The eyes that were oft lift 
up to heaven unto God in prayer, wearied with tears ? 
His head pierced with thorns? The face that is fairer 
than the sun, the dearest beloved, is now all maimed 
with blood, and the hair pulled out of His cheeks ! 
Could love be painted then ? Christ was pained, and 
Christ panted on the cross ; so pained mercy and jus- 
tice set"^ God in His loveliness towards man. Who 
comes with outstretched arms to meet and embrace 
Him ? When Christ was black and blaef upon the 
cross, and pale with death, He was then fairest and 

* Turned God. t Blue. 



282 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



pleasantest ; God, the Father, was reconciled, and 
looked sweetly upon slain Christ. And then mercy 
and peace were proclaimed to all believing sinners. 
The law and justice gloomed"^ still, until Christ's life 
was put forth ; and now they smile upon believers, 
and say, " Come into heaven, pulled open by Christ's 
holy arm from the cross, when it was shut by the strong 
iron bar that held tot the door of heaven, until He 
hurt His arm, and took it by." And now Christ says, 
'^ Be not afraid, come away." But ye will say, " We 
are weak, we dowt not put up§ Christ's door." '' Well 
then," says Christ, " I am strong enough for you ; and 
now seeing it is already open, get up quickly, and 
enter into it, and there abide." Ye are Christ's breth- 
ren and sisters. When ye were under hell and con- 
demnation, He pleaded the law for you. It was no 
bought plea|| to His hand that Christ snappered^ on 
when He fought \vith your enemies. Christ is ''flesh 
of yoicr fleshy and bone of your boneJ^ He tired Himself 
in paying the law, and in getting the inheritance for 
you ; and, God be thanked, He won the plea, but it 
was great charges to Him. Take to you now free pur- 
chased redemption, your Brother's new forgiveness of 
sins, peace, joy, and a kingdom. And more, take Him 
to be your Tord, and much good may you have of 
your new Master, Jesus Christ. 

Of all wonders that ever were read in a printed book 
this is the first : Christ made an exchange ; Christ 
would coss"^* lives with you, and make a niffer.tf He 
never beguiled you, for He took shame, and gave you 
glory. He took the curse, and gave you the blessing, 

* Frowned all along. + Kept fast. + Dare. § Open. 

II No fictitious quarrel. "^ Stumbled. 

** Barter ; often so used in his sermon on Song ii. 14. 

ft Exchange. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 283 



He took death, and gave you life. The fairest Candle 
that ever was lighted is blown out. The Head of th^ 
Church is dead, and the Lord of Life is laid down in 
the grave ! No wonder that the sun, that did shew** 
part of his labours, be shut down ; because the great 
Sun of Righteousness was shut down in the grave, and 
a stone laid above Him. Good right have ye to Christ, 
accept of His niffer, and change with Him, and take 
His best blessing and purchased redemption. 

What a sight is our Lord Jesus going out of the 
gates of Jerusalem, and His cross upon His back ! 
He went like to fall under it, He was so weak in body 
and weary in soul, when He went to the top of Mount 
Calvary. And all the time He saw black death before 
Him, and a curse. He was even then bearing God's 
curse upon His back, and that was heavier than the 
cross. Look on Him, and follow Him, He will not 
bid you lend Him a lift.f Give Him obedience, and 
give Him love, for it is better to Him than if you had 
been ''crucified for Him. Look upon Him, and 
look for Him. " Whither I go ye hiow^ and the way 
ye knowP Christ this day lets you see all the footsteps 
in your way to heaven. In His death and blood He 
made a new way to heaven. He went in an hard way 
Himself, through God's curse, and painful sufferings. 
He bids you not follow Him that way, but believe in 
Him, and love one another. And stick fast by Christ. 
The old gatej ye dought§ never have gone; but 
Christ's market-gate is a sweet and easy way. If ye 
will bear Christ's yoke, and so love Him, ye and He 
will come in each others' hands together to heaven. And 
ye will be the welcomer that He is with you — ''A little 



* Perhaps, ** Share," i, e. suffer along with Him. 
t Offer any help. + Way. § Could. 



284 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



while J^ says Christ, " and I will come again!^ Take 
you here Christ's flesh in token ^-hat He will come 
again to you, and marry you to Himself for ever. 
Your new Husband hath said, within a little while He 
will come again and see you ; and see that ye keep 
yourselves for Him; abide in Him. Christ says to 
you, " My dearest ones, weary not, fight on, I shall be 
at you your fray-hour.* Be true to Me, as I was aye 
true to you.'' 

Indeed, when our salvation was in Christ's hand, it 
was between the tyningt and winning. But our Lord 
Jesus played us not a slip, He was aye to be lippened J 
in. What think ye of Christ ? Is not He fair, and 
lovely ? Has not His wife good cause to say, " He is 
altogether lovely?" (Cant. v. 16). His breast is all 
made of love. If ye had but Him once in your arms, 
ye would thrust Him into your heart; yea, and beyond 
it, if it could be gotten done. Christ took a hearty 
grip of you upon the cross ; He let you not slip out of 
His fingers again. 

"' Mafty waters cannot quench loveP — Christ was the 
Lamb, roasted with fire for you. He suffered hot fire 
for you. He got a toast and a heat that made Him 
sweat blood, but yet His soul was not burnt away with 
love. Oh ! Christ would fain have you ; are ye not 
burning with love to be at Him ? Dow ye§ find in 
your hearts to want Him ? Oh ! thrice sweet death — • 
to die of love for Him that died of love for you ! 
Christ in the garden, on the cross, in the grave, under 
the pursuing of His Father's wrath and anger, speired|| 
aye for His beloved. His Kirk. He sought you in all 
these places, and He sought aye till He found you. 

* Your hour of battle ; " fray " has this sense in Gawin Douglas. 
t Losing. X To be trusted. \ Are ye able to ? || Asked. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 285 



He would not want His errand for the seeking. He 
went triumphing and rejoicing, and His wife in His 
hand. Christ rueth^-' nothing that He has done for ' 
you. He thinks it all well wared. t 

Christ loves you better than His life, for He gave 
away His life to get your love. He spared neither 
cost nor expense. Christ, who was without sin, gave 
Himself a ransom for you, sinners. His Father laid a 
cross on Him. He bought you with His Father's 
curse ! Was not that a dear wife to Him ? Then let 
Christ be dear to you. Pilate scourged Christ, and 
brought Him forth to the people, to see if they would 
ruej on Him when they saw His bloody shoulders. 
They might have said, **Poor Man, thou art ill enough 
handled else, for aught that thou hast done ! " But 
these hell's hounds would have His heart's blood, and 
His life, or nothing. And your Husband said, 
^^Amen,'' to it, for the love He did bear to you, and 
for all that God had done to Him — ''Be it so. Amen, 
Father:' 

What a sight was innocent and harmless Jesus when 
He stood before the Governor, and had not one word 
to say ! They laid thieves' bands on our Saviour's 
hands, that had never stolen, that had never shed 
blood. Bands bound His hands, but love, mercy, and 
grace bound His tender heart with stronger bands and 
cords, to loose us out of the bands of sin. He cried 
in the Spirit, " Father, bind Me, and loose them ; slay 
Me, and save them. All their ill be upon Me." So 
be it, dear Jestis! 

Christ cried with a loud voice in death, " Father, 
into Thy ha?ids I commend My Spirit!' Then our Lord 



Repents. t Ventured ; spent. 

I Repent of their treatment of iiir.i. 



286 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



died ; because it was His will. Death could not bind 
Him, but love to His wife bound Him. Love is 
stronger than death ; nay, love was as strong as Christ. 
The law was weak now, for Christ satisfied it; and 
now it has no power over you. Ye are in Christ; and 
He is a better Master than the law. Change not with 
any Master again. Follow Him all the way to heaven. 
Christ's new love got a wissil"^ in His blessed manhood. 

How do ye since ye married Christ last ? Tell your 
mind of Christ. Let faith speak, let love speak of 
slain Christ Jesus ; of His kissing you. Ye are now 
at Christ's pierced side ; get heaven and mercy when 
Christ has the cross on His back. 

Was not Christ's love-tocherf good enough. O ! 
what is sewed J and covered up in Christ's love ! 
Come, and press His love, and get heaven and glory 
out of it. Live on His love, and you are wholly fed. 
Lie on His love, and that is a sweet bed. Ride on 
His love, and it shall carry you through hell and 
death, and every evil way. That which Christ has 
dear bought, He vnW not want. Ye are sold over to a 
Lord that will not want you, but will have you. Make 
no merchandise va\h any other. He rues not : why 
should ye rue ? 

Mount Calvary, since God laid the first stone of it, 
did never bear such a weight as when the Lord of 
Glory was hanging upon a tree there — O ! it was made 
a fair tree when such an Apple grew on it ! It was a 
green orchard ! It was our summer, but death's 
winter ! Darkness was in all Judea when our Lord 
suffered. And why? Because the Candle that lighted 
the sun and the moon was blown out. The God- 



Wistle, or wissil, means '•Exchange" — a Dutch word. 
+ Marriage dowry. % Shewed, in some copies. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, ggy 



head was eclipsed ; and the world's eye was put out. 
He took away the sun with Him, as it were, to another 
world, when He that was the world's sun was put out. 
When He went out of the earth, the sun would not 
stay behind Him. Sun, what ails thee ? "I have 
not will to shine when my Lord is going to another 
world." As if the sun had said to Jesus, " Lord, if 
Thou be going to another world, take me ^vith You." 
The dead come out of the grave to welcome Christ's 
death. Life itself was coming to the grave, and there- 
fore the graves opened, the dead lived; the bairns 
sprang and started in their mother's belly. Why ? 
Because the Lord of Life was coming to the grave. 
The dead wondered, to see Life coming down among 
them. He went before-hand, to sponge* death and 
corruption for you. 

Jesus cried with a loud voice, with such a shout as 
never before went to heaven. The Son, crying to the 
Father, shouting with tears and strong cries, '* Father, 
Father, God's mercy !" O what a oxy would all believers 
have made in hell, if Christ had not cried. Ye had 
been always crying. But O what afrayt was there ! God 
weeping, God sobbing under the w^ater ! Never was 
there such a fray in heaven, and earth, either before, 
or shall be after. Angels might have quaked, if they 
be capable of such passion. They might have said, 
'' Alas ! What ails our dear Lord and Master to cry 
so hideously?" Christ worriedt on a piece of tree! 
He who takes up the isles of the sea as a little thing ; 
yea, He who can take up heaven and earth with a 
touch of His little finger ! He who can weigh the 
mountains in a balance ! O what a set§ was it to 



Wipe out completely. + Conflict. % Harassed and torn. 
^ Onset. 



288 COMMUNIOJSr SERMONS. 



Christ's back and His fillets !^" No wonder ; there was 
more than a tree upon His back. The curse of the 
law of God was above the tree ; and that was heavier 
than ten thousand mountains of iron. Ah ! A wonder 
His back brake not in twa, and all His bones were 
not crushed with it ! 

Christ cries, ^' I thirstr 

^^ I thirst r — No wonder; there was a fire in His 
soul. Such a furnace, that would have dried up the 
sea, and all the waters of it. Cast a coal of God's 
wrath in the midst of the sea, and it would soon suck 
it all up if there were as much water as might lie be- 
twixt the bottom of the sea, and the heaven of heavens: 
between the east point of heaven, and the west point 
of heaven. The pure unmixed Avrath of God would 
drink it all dry in a moment. All the wells in the 
earth set to Christ's mouth could not have quenched 
His thirst. A drink of His Father's well was that 
which cooled His burnt and dried soul. Christ cried, 
*' My soul is heavy tmto death. Sorrow is like to kill 
Me ! Fear and horror is like to break My heart ! " 
** What, dear Lord Jesus, art Thou ruing the voyage ? 
Wouldst Thou cast Thy bargain?" *' No, no, but it 
is a bargain of sorrow to Me. It's a sad cup." O ! 
I see an ugly sight ! I see the Lord covered with 
wrath 1 I see a fire, greater than if you put all the fires 
in hell in one ! And the Lord has made Me, poor Me, 
greeting,! weak Me, His contrary party. | The Lord 
is running upon Me like a giant. My martyrs and 
My servants sing and rejoice at the gibbet and fire; 
but I weep, I lie sad and dreary, mine alone § — Why ? 
Because My Lord is away. 

* *' Fillets," his thighs or loins. t Weeping me. 

Has dealt with me as an enemy. § I being all alone. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. ^89 



O wells ! O lochs ! O running streams ! Where 
were you all when my Lord could not get a drink ? 
Oh fie on all Jerusalem ! For there was wine enough 
in Jerusalem, and yet their King, Jesus, is burnt like a 
keel-stick. ^ O wells, what ails you at your Lord 
Jesus? The wells and lochs answer, *^Alas! We 
dare not know Him; the Lord hath laid a fencet upon 
us ; we are arrested ;| we dare not serve our Master." 
Is there any cooling in all Judea ? Or is there any 
room ? Yea, there are tables full of vomit ; but our 
Lord was forced to take a good-night of the creature, 
with a nay-say. § Oh ! to hear the wells say, " We will 
give Herod and Pilate a drink, but we will give Christ 
none." Yea, give me leave to say there is none on 
earth brewen for Christ; nothing but a drink of gall and 
vinegar ! The wells say, " We will give oxen and 
horses drink ; but never a drop for the Lord of glory." 
For all His service done at Jerusalem; for all His 
good preaching ; for all His glorious miracles — not so 
much as a drop of cold water ! Fie on you, famous 
Jerusalem! Is your stipend this? Is this your 
reward to your great High Priest ? No, not so much 
as the beggar's courtesy, a drink of cold water, to your 
dear Redeemer, Jesus ! But by this, Christ has bought 
drink for all believers. 

Jesus ^^ gave up the ghost ^^ 

O Life ! wouldst thou bear that blessed Body no 
longer company ? O Life of Life ! wouldst thou be 
death's taken prisoner? Oh ! to see that blessed Head 
fall to the one side ! Oh ! to see Life wanting life 1 
To see Life lying dead ! To see that blessed mouth 
silent ! To see that fair corpse rolled in linen, and 

* Cabbage stock. t Authoritatively forbidden. 

X Stopped by warrant. § Denial. 

T 



2^0 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



laid in a tomb ! Oh ! to see sweet Jesus, that blessed 
Body in Joseph's arms ! Come hither, come hither, 
believers, and see a sight that ye never saw the like 
of ! Oh, what would the disciples say, but that, " We 
are beguiled men ! We thought that He should have 
restored the kingdom to Israel ; and now He is gone 
away ; and now He is dead, that raised Lazarus from 
the grave/' Oh, angels would think '^Our Master is 
dead." Meikle^ scant of life in the world (might one 
say), before He should have died for want ! The 
whole guard about Christ might say, '' Oh what evil 
hath He done ? " O sun ! why wouldest not thou lend 
Him light? He never angered thee, but gave thee 
light ! O floods, O rivers, O running streams ! what 
has thus angered you at your Creator, that ye would 
not send your Lord a drink ? O bread ! why art thou 
gall to Him ? O drink ! why to Him vinegar ? O 
worldly pomp and glory, what ails you at Him — that 
He is so ashamed ? O Life, where goest thou ? Why 
leavest thou the Lord of Life ! O joys ! why would 
ye not cheer Him ? O disciples, why left ye Him, and 
forsook Him ? O Father, what ails Thee at Thy dear 
and only Son ? O what evil way went these feet, that 
they are pierced ? What evil have these hands done 
that they are pierced ? O what evil, and what vanity 
did these eyes behold, that death has closed them? 
O what sin hath that fair face done, that it is spitted 
on? O what did these hands steal, that they are 
bound? O what evil has that blessed Head done, 
that it is crowned with thorns ? 

* Much scarcity of life. 



SERMON XIII. 

^hc Jiiaiub's ^]^arria3C. 

*'^Lit us be glad and rejoice^ and give honour to Him: for the 
marriage of the Lainb is come, and His ivifc hath made 
herself ready ^''' ^c. — Revelation xix. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 

THIS text has three parts, i. The Kh'k's triumph 
under the Antichrist's persecution, in the 7th, 
8th, and 9th verses. 2. John's fall in worshipping the 
Angel. 3. A new revelation, wherein Christ and His 
members are seen triumphing, which contains a 
glorious description of Christ. I take not this abso- 
lutely to be the victory and triumph of the kirk 
triumphant in heaven, but it is the joy of the kirk on 
earth, groaning and longing for the marriage day. 

In the 7th verse is contained an exhortation to be 
glad and rejoice^^ with thanksgiving and two reasons 
of it, *' The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His 
wife hath made herself ready.'' Here is a question in 
the entry : Is there not a time to rejoice, and a time 
to mourn ? It is not rather a time for the church to 
mourn and be sad (chap, xii.) The Kirk, the poor 
woman with child, hard at the down-lying (travailing). 



*A Sermon preached before the celebration of the Lord's 
Supper, at Kirkcudbright, June 20, 1634. 



292 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



and has not an hour's reckoning, is chased by the 
dragon to the wilderness. But in chap, xiv., a judgment 
is denounced; chap, xvi., the arrows of God^s wrath are 
going through all the earth, a great din and hurlie- 
burlie in the Kirk. But in chap. xix. 7 , the Kirk is brought 
in singing and rejoicing. Hence let the world turn 
upside down, and come as it will, the saints will get a 
life of it. They are God's birds that sing in the winter, 
for the time is come. Isaiah liv. i, **Sing, O barren, 
thou that didst not bear ; break forth into singing," &c. 
And yet they are captives and banished people in the 
meantime. Zechariah ix. 9, ^' Rejoice greatly, O 
Jerusalem, shout, behold thy king cometh," and yet 
they had not a king at all, but were ** in the pit where 
was no water ; " they were in bondage. So in Isaiah 
xl. I, when the people were under the water, " Comfort 
ye, comfort ye my people, says the Lord. Speak com- 
fortably to Jerusalem." When the day is fair, and the 
spirit flows, and the wind is in the west, we can all 
then sing and rejoice, and believe. If God would each 
hour of the day come, and take His children on His 
knees, and lay their head in His bosom, saying, "Weep 
not, hold your tongue," we could all then sing and re- 
joice, and believe. But we must make a window in our 
prison, and look out and see daylight, and the Bride- 
groom coming, and rejoice beforehand. We are like 
fools and spilt^' bairns, taking offence at our Lord, and, 
like Jacob,! will not be comforted. Our Lord cannot 
get us drawn to the house of wine to take a cup of 
consolation. But we must learn to sing when God 
bids us. If the winter night were never so dark, 
beUevers must aye rejoice. Therefore rejoice, my 
dearly beloved, for we will get dayaboutj yet when the 

* Spoilt, t Genesis xxxvii. 35. % It will be our turn next. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 293 



marriage day is come. Luke vi. 23, "Rejoice for 
that day/' and leap for joy every day, (verse 25), even 
when they hate you and separate you from their com- 
pany. " When these things shall come to pass, then 
look up, and lift up your heads, for the day of your 
redemption draweth near" (Luke xxi. 28). They were 
casting down their heads; but faith must rejoice in 
the hope of an out-get* 

" Let us give hojioiir to Hhn'^ — Joy should not want 
praise. Alas ! we rejoice in ourselves and not in God. 
It is a bastard joy that is enjoyed without praise, 
Psalm xxxiii. i, 2, " Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; 
praise the Lord with harp." In i Thess. v. 16, the 
apostle couples these together, "Rejoice evermore, 
pray without ceasing, in all things give thanks." It is 
double music in heaven that wants t praising of Him 
who sits on the throne. Our Lord gets often deaf nuts 
from us in our spiritual joy. We take joy as a breakfast 
to cheer up our foolish sense, and sit down upon our joy, 
and whine as we do. So we wrong our Lord when 
our joy bringeth not forth thanksgiving. It is not 
enough to rejoice that ye hope to get a kiss of Christ 
in ordinances, except ye come to this, to give Him a 
sacrifice of praise. We often draw our joy home to 
ourselves, and make Christ a babe to play ourselves 
with, and feed our foolish sense. Were we thankful, 
and did refer all our sense to praising, we would not 
get so many hungry meals. 

But what is the matter ? Wherefore are we bidden 
rejoice and be glad? The Kirk speaks her words with 
a warrant, "Know ye no better nor so? Have we not 
good cause to rejoice? Is not the Lamb's marriage 

* An out-gate — a coming out in triumph, 
t That aims at the praise of Him, 



294 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



come?" Then nothing more feeds the soul of the 
godly with delight than this, that the marriage day is 
come, and is at hand. It is something worth indeed, 
that the poor widow, the Kirk, has married so rich a 
husband ; '' for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness 
thereof (Psalm xxiv). Ye need not fear scant, ^" nor 
that Christ will scale f house. 

^* The maiTiage is comer — It is not simply the 
glorified in heaven, but the time when God will 
make good all His promises to His Kirk in Christ. 
Say ye, was not this marriage of the Lamb before? 
Yea, was not Christ His Kirk's husband, and her 
well-beloved from the beginning ? Answer, In God's 
purpose. He was from eternity the King, Lord, and 
Husband of His Kirk; but for the going out of the 
marriage, we are to know that the Kirk was suited % 
and wooed long before the marriage. Christ takes not 
His wife at the first blink, as Samson fell in love with 
his wife. But He married with advisement so to 
speak. He and His Kirk are thrice lawfully pro- 
claimed in the preached gospel; there are meetings 
and communings about the heads of the contract, 
wherein Christ tells of His own excellencies, and the 
worth of His Father's glory, and what mansions are 
above. As long as the first husband lives (the law 
our first husband) Christ does not marry (Rom. vii. 
i). If ye and the world be hand-fastened § together, 
that marriage must be divorced, or else He will not 
look on that side of the house that ye are in. Before 
it came to this, '' Even so I take her," Christ made 
three journies to His wife: i. When He came in the 
flesh He wooed sinners and offered Himself to the 

* Want. + Skail ; leave the house He has once occupied. 
X Sought in marriage. § Contracted in marriage. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 295 



world. 2. After His Ascension to heaven He comes 
another journey, by His Spirit, in His ministers who 
preach the gospel. So Paul betrothed to a new 
husband. * 3. He will come again at the last day, 
and complete the marriage. I suspect a hasty mamage 
to be a sudden vengeance; men and women fly to 
Christ, and flock to ordinances, to eat and drink with 
Him, or t ever He woo them. Many come to take 
Christ, and have another husband at home, the world 
and your lusts. That is foul play: you must be single, 
or else ye cannot marry Him. I will ask at all of 
you that are come here this day, if your husband, the 
world, be dead ? Try if your lusts be dead^ and sin 
mortified; otherwise look for no match with Christ. 
If the world and you are as great t as ever you were, 
I shall not believe that Christ and you are in the way 
of marriage. They that are married to Christ have 
been cast down, wintered and summered, burnt and 
scalded, and can tell you what God's anger is, and 
what a strange put § the love of Christ has to make. 
Loathe at sin and all other things. 

" His wife hath 7nade herself ready P — How makes 
the Kirk, the Lamb's wife, herself ready ? In Col. i. 
1 2, it is said, ^' Giving of thanks to the Father, who 
hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance 
of the saints in light." Doth not God here readily 
answer both as true? God draws and we run; for 
God and we meet not against our will, as Simon 
carried Christ's cross; nor as Balaam's ass spake that 
knew not what he spake; nor as the lilies grow and 
labour not, and yet are better clothed than Solomon 



* 2 Cor. xi. 2. + Ere ever. % Great friends. 

§ ^^Ftit;^^ a thrust, and sometimes a jettee of stones set to 
alter the course of a stream. 



296 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



was. Our Lord has our heart in His hand, as man's 

way is with wax before the fire, '" to wring and work it 
as he pleaseth, and to set the stamp on the man's 
heart. He puts on the stamp as the wax receiveth 
it; a stone would not receive it. The man blows 
the trumpet, but all the sound comes from the man's 
breath. The ship sails; the pilot fills not the sails, 
but it is the wind that fills the sails. Our Lord begins 
and works upon the will and the heart, and changes 
it, and lets us see the excellency of our new husband 
and lord. And when we '' make ourselves ready ^^ we 
follow on to the smell of His garments. If God draw 
and ye stand still, if God blow upon you, and strive 
and work and cast you down, and ye are as hard as 
a rock or a stone under His hand, you have not 
'' made yourselves ready;" so ye are not at all married 
to Christ. O, my dearly beloved, make some pre- 
paration, less or more, for Him. Ye must be changed 
and mansweart your old Adam, and forget your 
father's house, cast off your ilk-day J garment and 
get a wedding garment. And think not that Christ 
and your old ragged garments, your lusts, will agree 
together. 

Many on the other hand, hearing that there must 
be a preparation for the marriage^ and that they must 
not come to Christ in their sin and guilt, and not 
knowing that He is angry, especially after a great out- 
cast, § will stand far off from Christ and not seek after 
Him, because not prepared. *^ The La7nb's Wife doth 
make herself ready'' — But I have not made myself 
ready ; (say ye) nay, I know not but if I go in my 

* The old copy has, **as a man's way," omitting **\\dth 
wax." t Renounce by oath. 

% Clothes worn on ordinary days. § Quarrel. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 297 



guilt, I shall be put away in His anger. And there 
ye stick, like a ship, on the sand-bed of fears and 
doubtings, lest God be angry; and not a foot can ye 
win nearer to Christ. 

What, then, shall unprepared souls do under these 
doubtings, especially under challenges for unrepented 
of sins that anger Christ ? I shall labour to answer 
what troubles such and hinders their humble setting 
to,* and coming away. i. They are troubled about 
Christ's nature. 2. About their warrant to come un- 
prepared. And 3. They are troubled with Satan and 
the Law of God. " As for Christ " (say they) " it is 
a needless errand; I will not amend myself, such an 
unprepared soul as I am." Answer, Go for^vard till f 
locked doors hold you again. You can have no less 
than you have ; it is but that much lost travel. Say ye, 
*' It is a needless errand; I will not mind myself 
A^iswer, The sluggard tells aye his answer before he 
goes his errand. The knavish servant's excuse is aye, 
when he is sent an errand, ^^ There is a lion in the way." 
What if ye find an open door, and Christ coming out to 
meet you mid-way? Christ played as merciful a sport 
to the forlorn son. '^Ay, but I see fire and sword 
when I come to the door, how shall I go in?" 
Answer. What if it be a false glass wherein ye see ? 
When sinners would be at Christ, He never holds out 
fire and sword to chase them away : that is but Satan's 
fire and sword that fears you. I love that (warrant) 
yet the better that the devil opposes it; but I say, 
though Christ gloom % on you, as on the woman of 



* Making an effort. 

t In old copy, " Will." But e\idently the sense is, *' Go on 
till you are shut out — till locked doors hold against you.'* 
1 FrowTi. 



298 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



Canaan, yet go fonvard; they are sweet coals that 
burn a soul flightering ^ to be at Christ. That fire 
will never be your death. When want of preparation 
holds a man from Christ, it is of the devil. Men take 
Christ to be proud, when it is themselves ; they are 
proud and will not go to Christ till they can give Him 
a meeting, and buy mercy. Nay, you are to go with- 
out money; that is a better market. O ! think ye 
shame to be in Christ's common ? t 

2nd. Oh, says the soul, " I want a warrant ; it is 
presumption to go to Christ with such a backful of 
guilt as I have." Ansiver, I say it is both pride and 
presumption to bide away. I hope you will not trust 
in yourselves or your own strength; you are doing so, 
or else you would not complain of your being unpre- 
pared as ye do. Lean but to Christ, and then complain 
not, but presume your fill on Him, providing you think 
yourself unworthy of Him. It is not presumption to 
take a grip of Christ's naked sword, though it should cut 
your hand. *^ Oh," says the soul, " you have not told 
me of a warrant to rush in unprepared to an angry 
Christ." Would ye have a warrant? there it is; the 
beggars warrant is as good as I would wish. His 
warrant and testimonial to a beggar is a lame leg, a 
cripple hand, a hungry belly, a bare back, that is 
good reason and cause for him. So I say, have ye 
a hungering and longing desire after Him ? Or know 
ye that ye are unprepared, that is, a cripple both of 
legs and arms? That is a notable warrant to go to 
Christ. " Oh, but," says the soul, " I have not a 
promise, I have not the Covenant to take with me, 
and for want of faith I have lost the promise." 
Answer. The Covenant is twice written, God has a 

* Fluttering. t To be under obligation to Christ, 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 299 



copy, the principal is in His hand and mind, and 
ye have a copy in yoiu* heart. If ye have lost your 
double,*^ what then? Says Christ, My copy is to the 
fore.t The^Covenant stability is to the fore, it stands; 
not in this that ye shall evermore t believe; there is 
no such covenant as that, yourselves have made that 
covenant and not Christ. Let me see such a covenant as 
this, that all that doubt and say, they are unprepared for 
Christ should bide away, and never come to Christ, till 
they be prepared to come, and are ready as the Lamb's 
wife is for her marriage. Yet, says the soul, " the 
warrant is not sure. It is hell and utter darkness to 
come to the marriage supper of the Lamb without a 
wedding garment (Matt. xxii. 12), and so unprepared 
as I am." Ansiuer, That man cared not how he 
came; he took no care of a wedding garment; he 
had not so much as a hungering for Christ, which is 
the beggar's warrant, as you have heard. But let us 
reason thus; if that ye grant ye are unprepared, and 
that ye want much that ye should have, ye think it 
is death to go to Christ ? I say, it is death to bide 
away, and the gi*eatest death of the two. A man 
chased by his enemies on death and life has but two 
ways to flee to ; either to the fire or to the water. 
If he be wise he will take himself to the water, and 
not to the fire, where he may swim ; the water may cast 
him out. The water is the little death, fire is the 
meikle death. To abide still in sin, and never to 
come to Christ is fire ; choose it not. To come to 
Christ with a hungering heart is the little death. 
There is hope of mercy in dying in the presuming 



Your copy of it. t Is still remaining. 

X Have a faith that never wavers. 



300 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



hand, upon the point of Christ's sword. When ye 
come to Christ, it is life if ye long for Him. 

3rd. When the devil and the law challenge you, 
then show Christ's blood; that is, God's great seal, 
against the which, to speak so, is treason. If they say 
ye believe not, answer ye them ; despair not. 

Verse 8. — " To her it was gra7ited that she should he 
arrayed in fine lijien.^^ — Wherefrom comes this pre- 
paration? It is God's free gift in Christ; all is on 
Christ's charges and expenses. The fine linen is 
Christ's righteousness imputed to saints, a web of 
Christ's own making. It cost Him dear or ever it 
came on our backs; velvets, silks, king's parliament 
robes, clothes of gold, are nothing in comparison to 
this web, v/oven out of Christ's own bowels and heart- 
blood. We are unworthy of Him; all that we can do 
or say here is with a borrowed tongue. When we say, 
" Even so I take Him," it was with a borrowed hand; 
for faith is not ours, it is the gift of God, to put on 
the fine linen. All this says that we are unworthy of 
Christ ; if ye were worthy, slain Christ would not be 
your husband. Christ is a Saviour and Redeemer 
from head to foot, all made up of free grace, giving 
His blood, merits, and righteousness to His Kirk for 
stark nought. Men shape a sort of a Christ of their 
o\vn making; not Christ but an idol; a Christ that 
will not ken ^ a man, except he get a meeting of 
holiness and righteousness in him, that is a Christ of 
your own making; but the true Christ that God gave 
unto the world will either marry with a beggar or 
none. It is His honour to match with " captives and 
prisoners" (Isa. Ixi. i); "the sick that need the 
physician" (Matt. ix. 12); "sinners that are lost" 

Own; acknowledge as His. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 30 1 



(Luke xix. 10); *4he poor, the maimed, the halt and 
bhnd" (xiv. 21); "the beggars and dyvers "^ of the 
world;" "the weary laden" (Matt. xi. 28); "the 
thirsty, and those that have no money" (Isa. Iv. i) ; 
" the wretched, blind, poor, and miserable, and naked " 
(Rev. iii. 17); "the silly, halting, cripple kirk" (Micah 
iv. 7). 

The fine linen white and dean, the righteousness of 
saints^ — These are the properties of the linen which 
is Christ's righteousness, His perfect obedience, and 
sufferings. It is not gross and round spun ; there is 
not a spot in it. I. Christ gave as much to God as 
He desired. The law cries, " With all the heart, 
soul, and strength." Christ answers, Psalm xl. 8, " / 
delight to do Thy will, O God ! Thy law is within My 
heart J^ Christ gives God lucky f heaped measure; not 
a penny that sinners took from God, but Christ re- 
stored a pound for it again. Nay, I say, if man had 
never sinned, God would never have given such a 
market. X Our righteousness would aye have been but 
man's righteousness, which is gross and rund-spun§ in 
comparison of this. H. As for Christ's sufferings 
there was not a crack || in them. Christ stood still; He 
never winked or mintedH to take away His head ; He 
did never jouk,** or lout,tt to miss a cuff. J :{: He would 
not ware§§ a stroke off Himself. Isaiah 1. 6, " I gave 
My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that 
plucked off the hair." Our dear Redeemer was 
like no others. Few lose a cause with their will. 

* Bankrupt debtors. t Lticky is plentiful ; abundant. 

X In the old copy this sentence is confused ; but the correction 
of two words has made it plain. 

§ A rund is a shred or selvage cloth spun out of mere shreds. 
No flaw. ^ Attempted. ** Shrink, by turning aside. 



302 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



But Christ was content that a decreet went against 
Him, and that the law should seize on Him. He 
purposed to pay, and not miscount; He took the 
strokes till God said it was enough, ^^ it is finished.'' 
So His righteousness will do our turn, being clean, 
white, and fine. Then, when ye have put on this 
clean fine linen, keep it clean and white; spark'-* no 
dirt on Christ's righteousness. " Be ye as holy as He 
is holy." We are all ready to filef our new clothes 
after we have put them on. Ezekiel must have a 
watchword, Ezekiel ii. 8, " Son ot man, be not rebel- 
lious like the rebellious house." Isaiah viii. ii, " The 
Lord instructed me, that I should not walk in the 
way of this people." When we have put on this fine 
linen, temptations (the devil's dogs) are hounded out 
against us, to rivej our clothes. This world is a 
smoky room, a filthy house. What are malice, pride, 
love to the world, security, and avarice, but the devil's 
smoky walls, that we should keep ourselves from. 

Verse 9, ''He saith to me, write, Blessed are they 
that are calledP — That which is written by God is sure, 
a concluded thing. The saint's happiness is not. He 
said it, and shiegled.t God has booked § your heaven 
and your happiness, if you be called to the Lamb's 
/narriage-supper. As the wicked man's hell is booked 
and written of God, and sealed up among his treasures, 
so vengeance is laid up for him (Deut. xxxii. 34). Be 
glad and rejoice, O believers, your salvation is past 
through the great seal; this testament is confirmed with 
Christ's blood. Say ye, " The testament is written, 
but my name is not there?" A7iswer. Neither Abra- 

* Throw no spot upon. t Soil. + To tear. 

X Was unstable ; vacillated. In the old copy, the sentence 
has ** and shelied." § Registered. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



303 



ham's nor David's names are in it, yet it is sure enough. 
A father leaves his inheritance to be divided equally 
among his sons ; ilk* one has no more adof but to 
prove that he is a son; then he falls to his part of the 
inheritance. We err oftentimes in our applying either 
promises or threatenings. You make a question of 
God's part, ^'if Christ died for you, and loved you." 
Make aye sure your own part, and take no fear of 
God's part. If ye ask for whom Christ died, I 
answer ; " for all that lean to Him, be who they will." 
Take ay % to you, till Christ say, I died not for you. 
A cord is cast down in a hollow pit to draw up you 
and a hundred more nor§ you. If ye dispute, " Is the 
cord cast down for me ? " I will tell you how ye shall 
answer that doubt, grip and hold fast by it for your 
life, and out of question then it was cast down for you. 
If ye take the offer, question not His good will; step 
in; Christ's good will will not ask to whom pertain 
ye? And if He ask, say ye, " I am Thine." If He 
deny it, be ye humble and bide || it. Cain's and 
Judas' names are not written in the sixth command. 
*^ But they have no due right to His promises." Yea,^ 
they have to His threatenings against murderers. If 
ye ask if Christ died for you ? He answers you with 
another question, Would ye die for Him ? Or are ye 
dying for love to Him ? that answers your question. 
Sinners are like a number of men swimming in the sea 
betwixt life and death. Christ and His merits are 
like a strong boat and a man holding out both his 



* Each one. t Trouble in the matter. 

X Take " yes" to you ; consider it as granted. 
§ Besides you. 11 Endure it ; submit. 

IT The meaning seems to be **Yes;" the principle is the 
same ; they should apply personally the threatenings. 



304 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



arms drawing them in one by one, saying, ^* Give me 
your hand ; " and so he presses them in. 

Verse 9, '^ Blessed are they that are called^ — Then 
all that hear His word are blessed. We are sent out 
to call you, and to cry, " Our Master, the King's son, 
is to be married, come to the feast, and bring all your 
best clothes with you." But there are many called, 
who are not called. That calling in the Proverbs i. 24, 
is not here meant, ^^ I called and ye refused;" nor 
that in Matt. xx. 19, "Many are called but few are 
chosen." There is a difference between the inward 
calling and the outward calling. First. In the person; 
none are called but the Bridegroom's friends, who are 
come of Christ's own house, and are native of kin to 
Him; strangers and bastards to the house get but a word. 
Different from this is that calling that is to the saints ; 
a calling by their names, as when God called Abraham 
who said, " Here am I." The friends of the Bride- 
groom hear a voice upon their hearts, as if God had 
called them by their names ; the rest are called, but 
they obey not the King. They hear a voice sounding 
in the air as afar off speak to a man of inheritance in 
Spain; he hears and hears not. The reprobate hear oi 
God's calling as if ye were speaking to him of playing 
at the football, or some trifle. But speak to a man of 
his own inheritance, and how he shall be lord of all 
things; O, that goes near his heart. Secondly, The 
inward calling goes foot for foot with the decree of 
election. " Whom He did predestinate, them He 
also called " (Rom. viii. 30). The inward calling is 
more than a word; it is a word with an arrow shot at 
the heart, or struck on the soul, but it must yield to 
Christ and be led captive at His will. *^ Other sheep 
I have, them also I must bring in" (John x. 16). I 
must have them, cost what it will. If they be un- 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 305 



willing, they shall be made willing. Indeed, the 
wicked run away with one of Clirist's arrows sticking 
in them, as a wild beast with a dart ; (but if it is shot 
with Christ's full strength, it goes to the bone) ; it 
but draws blood, and makes a hole in the skin. The 
arrow falls out and the wound closes again. But it is 
the Mediator's arrow John speaks of in John x. 28. 
O, says the man,''^ there is a grip called the Mediator's 
grip. " I, when I am lifted up to the Cross, will draw 
all men after Me" (John xii. 32). No man can resist 
iTim if he once get a blow of Him, and a wound in 
his soul with one of Christ's arrows. So Paul was not 
called to His supper till he was blind, and had fasted 
three days. So this in Zech. xii. 10, "They shall 
look on Him whom they have pierced, and shall 
mourn as one that mourneth for his only son." These 
that are called to the marriage supper are '' blessed " 
for ever. To be called to the marriage is to be pro- 
mised away and spoken for in marriage; and when 
the contract is subscribed and the woman gives her 
oath, hand, and promise, to her husband — when she 
is hand-fastened t before God to him — she cannot 
with honesty enter into marriage with another man. 
By the law, the last { testament is of force. So, when 
we have given our names to our husband Christ, it is not 
honesty to fall in love again with other lovers; to marry 
two is vile falsehood. Are ye content that Christ get 
your first love, and to go with Him before § another ? 
All that are called to the marriage should be chaste, 
and think of that look of their husband Christ, who 
got the first promise of them. He has a tongue that 



* Perhaps it should be, " O yes, man.'* 
Betrothed and contracted. % Her recent betrothal. 

§ Rather than. 
U 



3o6 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



is sweeter than all tongues. An honest merchant, who 
made the first black * and stroke with you, will not 
beguile you for a penny more. And, when all is 
done, the devil and the world cannot over-bid t our 
Lord Jesus Christ. Can they bid more than heart? 
or Christ ? or God ? Yet many, after they have given 
away their hand to Christ in covenant, the world 
ravishes them ere ever Christ can come to claim 
them again. 

" The Lamb^s Wife hath made herself ready P — It is 
not said that, " The Lamb made Himself ready P There 
is no stopi of the marriage on Christ's side of it. It 
is long since He died and rose again, and entered 
into His glory. But the wife is wild, § sweer, and 
slow to the draught. The reason why the last marriage- 
day is deferred is because God will have none of His 
own to be lost, or perish (2 Peter iii. 9). Long for the 
marriage-day. Cry, " Come, Lord Jesus." Ye would 
be at heaven; but your lusts are not yet subdued. 
Get the body of sin, and the world, crucified, and the 
wedding-garment ready ; for on Christ's side there is no 
stop, the lodgings are taken. Ye bid Him come 
quickly ; He may bid you go fast ; for He runs, and 
ye creep at leisure. Ye come out of the world, as Lot 
came out of Sodom, sweerly. || Put every day some ot 
your journey over, that you and He may meet. But 
ye stand still and sleep ; ye are like a drunkard that 
says, ^'We are over long here, in the ale-house," yet sits 
still and drinks on. It were not tellingH us that the 

^ Bargain and agreement. t Offer a higher price. 

% Nothing to delay. 
§ Wilful, and reluctant, and slow to be drawn into compliance 
with His wishes. || Rehictantly. 

IF It would not be for good to us. From the A. S. word, 
^' teala, good," says Jamieson. But it may be just, "It would 
not tell in our favour." 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



307 



marriage came when we seek it ; there is a great part 
of the wedding-garment yet still unready. 

" T/ie Marriage-Supper of the Lavib. " — Gospel 
promises and mercies are called a marriage-supper. 
God calls not brass gold. He calls blessedness in 
Christ, a supper and a marriage-supper, wherein are 
all pleasures that can delight hearing and tasting, music, 
and good cheer. It is a supper after which meek men 
get rest, and the night's sleep; for the saints have 
many a hungry dinner in this world. Pleasures are 
the husks that the swine feed on, the devil's draff. -•' 
Hebrews xi. 25, ^' The pleasures of sin for a season." 
They have much toil and labour the long summer day, 
but here is their blessedness, they knov/ of a hearty 
meal of meat at night, and rest in the bosom of their 
well-beloved Christ. After this supper there is no such 
toil and trouble as is after dinner. Men have no rest, 
but are weary and laden till Christ and they meet; 
they are aye under Satan's yoke till Christ loose them. 
Habakkuk ii. 13, "Behold it is not of the Lord of 
hosts that people should labour in the fire, and weary 
themselves with very vanity," and Jeremiah ii. 20, "Of 
old I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands 
asunder." God's people were in Satan's yoke, and 
under abominable slavery in Egypt, till supper came, 
when they got some rest and sleep. Satan has men 
yoked in a plough, and profit, pleasure, and honour, 
are his iron pricking goads. Balaam hears of gold and 
honour, Judas of money, and they go sweating up the 
furrows. So God's children are yoked till God loose 
and ease them, and call them to His supper ; and then 
they rest from their long summer day's toil. Ye mar- 
vel to see the wicked get so good cheer, and to wallow 

^ Mere dregs. 



3o8 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



in pleasures ; ye startle at providence here when 
ye see the godly in trouble. But the reprobates 
are not called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb. 
AVonder not that God gives a greedy dog a bone ; 
and so indeed is the world to them. Let them get 
the belly full of it; they shall for all that ^^ lie down 
in sorrow" (Isaiah 1. ii) without tasting the marriage- 
supper. 

^' And He said to me those are the tnie sayhigs of 
GodJ^ — Angels got a taste of Christ at the beginning, 
and have learned something that they had never known 
if man had not fallen. And though they be but be- 
holders, and eat not of the supper as we do, yet when 
Christ's meat is on the table, it casts a good smell, and 
they delight to learn something of Christ which they 
knew not before. If they say, much more cause have 
we to say so, that God's word is " faithful and true." 
All the messes of the supper are for us, " His flesh is 
meat indeed" to us, and " His blood is drink indeed" 
to us. Say ye, Will not all men as well as angels say 
so ? Do any deny God's word and sayings to be true ? 
It will be thought, men for shame will not give God 
the lie in His face. Indeed, in general, we say God's 
words are true, but, when it comes to practice, we 
stand not to give Him the lie in His face. Like 
archers who set their eye upon the m.ark, and when all 
is done, the bow it breaks, and the arrow falls at their 
foot. Whilst conscience keeps in generals, and is a 
hundred miles from the word, we say the word is 
good, but when the word is near to command us, and 
to control our lusts, and deny our wills ; then we do 
as Jeroboam's conscience, that slipt the shackles, when 
God's word was like (as he did think) to deprive him 
of his kingdom. Our conscience goes along with the 
word in 2:eneral, but when it meets with our wild 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



309 



humours, or lights on Herod's belt,* then we cry and 
complain as he did. When our lusts rise, and the Word 
binds our conscience, then conscience gives God fair 
words, like a flattering friend, or knavish servant that 
is aye to seek when there is most to do. The adulterer 
says God's word is true, yet in time of temptation, 
when the seventh command comes in handy t grips, 
and hard wrestling, then he tells another tale. The 
mind is as a judge that aye does right till he get 
ill counsel, and then never a good turn. The mind 
afar off judges aright of God's word, but in comes the 
affections as an ill counsellor and does lead conscience 
by the nose. When it comes to practice, the affection is 
conscience's ill neighbour, like Rehoboam's counsellors, 
that led him wrong to his hurt. 

Verse 10, ^^ And I fell down at His feet to worships 
— We read of very few of John's faults. Here he fell 
twice in idolatry, inconsiderately taking the angel to 
be more than an angel, he directing his worship to 
God, no doubt, as he supposed ; but his heart being 
too much addicted to admire and reverence a creature, 
he slips when he doats so much on instruments. 
Observe, humility can steal on our heart in the heat 
of love ; and Satan can beguile us with it. Idolatry 
comes in upon John with a sweet disguise ; he wel- 
comed it as God's worship. Our hearts and Satan do 
work to others hands. While we are not advising with 
God, our hearts go far on in pleasuring of sin, and 
covering of idolatry. But let men wash idolatry with 
all the holy water of Rome, it has aye a black skin. 
Many go farther on in idolatry than John did. Saul 
would not himself kill David, and does not mind the 



Perhaps it should be ''belly," as Philippians iii. 19. 
t Close grappling. 



3IO 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



matter and event of it ; nay, but he gives him over into 

the Philistines* hands. Sins (especially gross sins) 
have a bloody, black face, so that men must put on a 
mask before they kiss them. Men think to beguile 
their consciences by challenging of some circumstances. 
The Colossians worshipped angels (ii. i8), but they 
did it under pretence of humility. Israel did swear 
that they would not give their daughters to the Ben- 
jamites ; but how made they up the matter ? They 
bade the Benjamites at a dance take their daughters 
by force, and so they play their conscience a slip. Sin 
can go out at one door, when conscience hosts** it ; 
and comes slipping in again with a new garment, it 
being that same sin. Pilate, he put murder from 
himself by washing his hands, and said, I am free of 
Christ's blood ; he plastered his murder fairly with this, 
" The people caused him to do it." So swearing is 
good enough to many, if they swear the truth ; men 
would fain have God's law beguiled. If vanity of 
apparel lose the name of pride, and commend this 
that it is called the fashion, it is thought good enough. 
But if your clothes be proud, your heart cannot be 
humble. If the deceiver can count his conscience, 
and win by| the eight command, and say, The bar- 
gain was made in daylight, your eye was your merchant, 
he thinks he has loupen§ dry-shod. But consider Jer. 
ii. 2 2, "Though thou wash thyself with nitre, and take 
thee much soap; yet thy iniquity is marked before Me." 
Why is it that we learn not to deal honestly with God's 
law ? Alas, we make the Almighty a child, provok- 

* Threatens it with a blow, 
t Coim, to make oneself master of. But, also, there is a word, 
" Co7ina7td,''^ used for terms of peace offered previous to an 
engagement, from the French, Coftvenant. 

X Get past. § Leapt over. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



3^1 



ing Him to anger, and then we put Him off with fair 
words. John here doated on the instruments, in his 
devotion, labouring to be thankful to God for the sweet 
news he had heard. It was an ordinary fault in many, 
to give more to some instruments, than was their due. 
Among the Hebrews (chap, iii.), some will set up Moses 
as a High Priest. In Corinth, no preacher like Paul ; 
says another, I think Apollos better ; a third says, 
In my judgment, Cephas, Peter, is best of all. What 
are ministers but earthen pitchers carrying the heavenly 
treasures ? If they be faithful, they should do as John 
the Baptist, when the people thought to have done hom- 
age to him, and took him to be Christ ; he took them 
witness that he told them, "he was not the Christ, 
nor worthy to loose His shoe-latchet." Call no man 
Rabbi. God is witness that ministers desire to put you 
fair off their hands, and to send you to Christ. They 
are but the Bridegroom's friends carrying your love 
letters from your husband. But carry it who will, 
leave oif comparing ministers with mysteries,** lest you 
provoke God to blow out the poor man's candle ; and 
ye know that a blown out candle will have an ill 
smell. They but carry the trumpet; the Spirit blows. 
Ye should not dote on any man. Would you have an 
idol to waste your love on? There is one Christ 
Jesus ; dote your fill on Him. Love, and better 
love t Him, till ye be wearied of loving Him. 
Beware that ye move not the Lord to take the gift 
from the ministers. The devil can cast wildfire in 
people's zeal, and cause them make a god of a man in 
whom there is not much stuff, if he were sifted. Is 
comfort bound to any man's tongue above another ? 
Balaam's ass once made a preaching, that might have 

* Ministers ? t Love, and love more and more. 



312 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



been a lesson to the ill man. I say, sirs, take God's 
meat, cook it who will. Alas ! that ministers by their 
wicked lives should spoil God's meat, so as the children 
skunner.* Who would believe when John was in 
an angel's company, and ravished in the spirit, and had 
seen Christ so gloriously revealed to him, and such 
comfortable victories over Antichrist, having his 
heart so well set to praise God, that he would have 
snapperedf on a course of idolatry. Hence, if we were 
in an angel's company, as was Judas, :{: the devil and 
sin are lying in wait to insnare us. This world is as a 
great wood, and at every tree-root there lies, and in 
every bush there lies a serpent. We had need to tell§ 
all our steps to heaven, and see whether we go right 
or wTong. When we are rejoicing in God, the devil 
can deceive us. Peter thought himself a humble man, 
when he said to Christ, '' Thou shalt never wash my 
feet," but he was devilishly humble. In praying, 
reading, hearing, communicating, &c., temptations are 
at our elbow. Satan, in Job's days, came before the 
Lord to accuse the man ; think ye not the devil is as 
bold as ever he was ? And think ye that he dare not 
come to the Communion table ? When Judas was at 
the table with Christ, Satan goes in with a sop. The 
devil has been at Christ's high messes, and will be wait- 
ing on to go into every believing soul. The world is 
like a piece of broad sea full of nets and lines. Satan 
hath laid his lines through the world, and it is all full 
of girnsll and traps wheresoever we go. In an instant 
John is here hooked with idolatry. David with the 
glance of an eye was hooked with adultery. We had 
need to pray, " Lead us not into temptation," and that 
we go not through Satan's camp without our armour, 

* Loathe it, t Stumbled. % John ? § Count over ; watch. || Snares. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



313 



and our Christ with us. For Satan's arrows and bullets 
are flying thick about our ears, whatever we be doing. 
We live here beside ill neighbours, we dwell on a dry 
march** with Satan and his temptations. O let us be- 
ware of one that is at our elbow in the holiest work we 
can go about. 

" See thou do it not, I ain thy felloiu-servanty — 
Angels will have none of God's glory. All that have 
gifts or light should labour to see that our Lord gets 
His glory. When that beast t suffered men to fall 
down on their knees to give him that worship and 
title that was due only to Christ, we may know by 
that what spirit was in him. The man that is nearest 
to God would have all glory given only to God. God 
and we must not be halvers % in His glory. Papists 
say they give glory to God, but images must have a 
bow by the way! Is not our part to keep good 
neighbourhood with God? to keep His marches? § 
Grace may well satisfy " us ; glory is a high mass, || 
none may say to Christ in that half mind. Cornelius 
gave his knee to Peter, but he refused it. Where there 
is betwixt God and us a creature that represents God, if 
we bow a knee to it, that smells of idolatry, although 
our worship be directed to God. We have a jealous 
husband. If ye bow the knee to a creature, and say 
it is to Christ, it is as a wife should prostrate herself 
to a strange lover, and then say, "God knows my 
heart is towards my husband." Idolatry may be idolatry 

* A boundary line, which has not even water to keep us separate. 

t Revelation xiii. 4. X Sharers, each taking a half. 

§ His boundary line. 

II The sentence is obscure. The meaning seems to be this — 

" Let us creatures be content with grace ; but as to * claiming' 

glory that is a High Mass which none should venture to say to 

Christ, as if we might halve it with Him.'* 



314 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



although men intend not idolatry in worshipping the 
creature. They who say John intended to worship the 
angel, have not well considered the place. John 
directed both his inward worship and his knee worship 
to God, and took the angel to be God, otherwise the 
angel's reproof, " / am thy fellow-servant^^ were not 
worth a straw. And yet he is rebuked for idolatry 
in directing knee-worship to an angel. Cornelius 
intended not to give to Peter what was due to God, 
he kend,* as it was told him, that Peter was a man; 
yet he thought, for his Master's sake, and the gospel's 
sake, he would bow his knee to him. For which he 
was rebuked. 

" The testimony of J^esus is the spirit of prophecy T — 
This is the testimony of Christ, which comes from the 
Spirit of Christ, who reveals things to come. As 
ministers are witnesses for Christ, so they must see 
and hear, otherwise they cannot depone upon their 
consciences to the people. * They must have the 
spirit that John had, John xv. 26, "The Spirit of 
truth." I Cor. xii. 3, " None can call Jesus the Lord, 
but by the Spirit." This will tell men if they be 
rightly called ministers ; and if they want the Spirit, 
they sound not with the trumpets, but with rams'- 
homs. I shall add no more. Amen. 

He knew. 




SERMON XIV.-^ 

The voice of my Beloved ! Behold He cometh leapinq upon the 
mountains^ skipping upon the hills, er-v.— Cant. ii. 8-12. 

IN these words (as we observed in the last sermon 
on this text) there are set down five particulars as 
to how the Church calls Christ, '' My Beloved^^ and how 
she takes Him up. I. She discerns His voice. II. She 
espies Him '' co?ni7igJ^ III. In His own person, 
" Behold Hecomethy IV. The manner of His coming, 
" skipping a?td leaping" V. The impediments in His 
way, '^ mountai?is and hills. ^' 

These are already expounded, only there remaineth 
a few t things, that which should have been marked 
before, which I add in this place. The Church says 
not, J It is '' the voice of my Beloved,'^ but for haste 
she says no more but, " My Beloved's voice ! " When 
Christ is either heard or seen by a faithful soul, He 

* It is not said where the pubHsher got these notes of the 
sermon ; the language is evidently somewhat modernized, but 
the tone is quite like Samuel Rutherford. Most of his sermons 
that have been preserved to us were preached at Communion 
Seasons, and in all probability it was strangers who took notes 
of the sermons. These strangers came on purpose on these 
special occasions, and took down in writing as much as 
they could, in order to carry to others a portion at least of the 
provision of Anwoth. 

t In the old copy, '* two." % " Now " in the old copy. 



3i6 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



wakeneth up, in the twinkling of an eye, the passions 
of that soul. Joy will not let her get out the rest of 
her words. What raises the child of God's heart? 
What but news from heaven of Christ? When the 
disciples hear tell of Christ's resurrection, they run to 
the grave for joy. The heart runs before the mouth. 
Ye may try by this way whether ye be Christ's or not ; 
if the heart leap for joy at the name of Jesus, if the 
affections leap out and embrace Christ about the neck, 
so that the heart strive and out run the tongue. The 
conscience is slow, the heart is quick and swift. The 
affections like dry timber, any spark of fire casten in 
upon them makes them soon to burn ; the conscience 
is like green wood that burns not soon, yet keeps the 
fire durable. The affections are like the needle, the 
rest of the soul like the thread; and as the needle 
makes way and draws the thread, so holy affections 
pull forward and draw all to Jesus. The affections 
are the ground ''-' and lower part of the soul, and 
when they are filled they set all the soul on work; 
when there is any love in the affections, it sets all the 
rest of the faculties of the soul on work to duty, and 
when there is any corruption in the affections, it stag- 
nates the soul, will, mind, and conscience. Affections 
are the feet of the soul, and the wheels whereupon the 
conscience runs. When a man is off his feet he can- 
not run or walk ; so when the affections are lame, the 
soul moves on crutches. 

There does yet remain something to be spoken con- 
cerning these *' 7noimiainsr God comes in mercy to 
two sorts of people. He comes to some before ever 
they be aware of His coming; He steals upon them 
before ever they hear or see Him. So Christ stealed 

* The foundation. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



317 



in upon the thief on the cross, when he was wallowing 
in his sins. He came unawares upon Paul going to 
Damascus to persecute tlie church. But after Regen- 
eration, the child of God knows His tongue, and 
hears the noise of His feet before He come ; yea, 
they be like hungry cattle so given on*^ Christ, that they 
are ever looking over the mountains to see if He 
comes, and are always setting up their ears to hear if 
they can know His voice, and discern His leaps and 
skippings. 

''Behold He is standing beJwid our wall T — Before 
Christ speak, He comes leaping upon the mountains. 
Now here He comes near ere they see Him, so that 
there is but one wall betwixt them, and lest the wall 
should hinder from a sight of Him, she sees Him look- 
ing out at the windows. We see that it is a note or 
mark of the true Church and child of God, to grow 
in fellovrship and communion with Jesus Christ. 
2 Thess. i. 3, " We are bound to thank God always 
for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith 
groweth exceedingly.'' The word signifieth that it 
groweth above the blade. Let us be carried through 
with faith and love, with our sails up, into perfection. 
Heb. vi. I. Paul is brought in by the Spirit of God 
chasing the kingdom of heaven, and doing nothing 
else but chasing it : '' This one thing I do, forgetting 
those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto 
those things which are before, I press toward the mark, 
for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 
We must press fast fonvard, and run as in a race after 
the prize of the high calling of God in the way to heaven, 
even in many difficulties. Like a boat sailing against 
tide, wind, and weather ; if we do not go fonvard, we 

' To be given on " is to pry into. 



3l8 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



will not miss to sail backwards. This condemns many 
in our age, dwarf Christians, that eat much, and are 
not like to thrive ! They have many glorious meetings 
at Communions with Christ, and yet they grow not; 
they remain still like the seven lean kine that Pharaoh 
saw, that devoured the seven fat kine, and yet remained 
still lean. And they may be compared to a strange 
fire that casts a blaze, and in end turns to smoke; and 
to locusts that loup up with a start, and fall down to 
the earth again. O ! it is the ill of our church that it 
is going backward. Christ was once behind the wall ; 
now He is beyond the curtain, and now removing. But 
how is this made good ? How do I prove it to be the 
sign of a removing Christ ? When God tells the prophet 
Jeremiah, (Jer. xvi. 2), that he was to remove. He says, 
^' Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou 
have sons or daughters in this place. '^ Alas ! Jesus 
Christ marries few now ! every one seeks their own 
things, and few are born over again by the immortal 
seed of the word. \Vhen Christ will not marry a 
Church, and beget sons and daughters, it is a token 
that He is going away. Christ must be going away 
when He is transporting His goods. The power and 
life of preaching is away, His servants banished to other 
lands; our Bishops complain that there are so many in 
the land that have Bibles. Woe to them when I de- 
part from them. 

''Behind oiw ivall^' that is. Behold He dwells in our 
house of clay, as it is termed, Job. iv. 19. John i. 14, 
'' The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." 
And it is called our zuall, because we have an interest 
in the man Jesus Christ, since He has our nature upon 
Him. Christ Jesus is here resembled to a great city, 
the blessed human nature of Christ is a wall ; the gate 
or porch to enter in through to that city, are the wounds 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



319 



of our Lord Jesus. There is a fair fountain in the 
midst of the city called David's well, which is meaned 
of the heart-blood of Christ Jesus crucified ; the in- 
dwellers are the elect. The humanity of Christ is 
our wall of defence; all the stones of it are hewn 
stones, out of Adam; for Jesus Christ is Adam's son. 
Now, the use of walls is to defend the city. Zech. ii. 5. 
God is a wall of fire about Jerusalem; all that are within 
our walls are sure from God's wrath ; this wall holds off 
all sorts of cannon. The body and soul of our Lord 
Jesus Christ was the buckler that received all the 
strokes that God's justice did let out against us. When 
the Lord did cast that great and heavy dart of His 
wrath against elect sinners, Christ had a body, and He 
came running and received that dart, both in His soul 
and body. Isaiah liii. 5, " But He was wounded for 
our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities, 
the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with 
His stripes we are healed." 

The Lord did cast upon man a great mountain of 
His wrath ; but betwixt God's casting and the lighting 
of it, Jesus, a Saviour timeously ready in trouble, came 
in and bare the burden. God had shot the arrows of 
His indignation at us ; but betwixt the loofing * of the 
arrow, and the lighting of it, our Lord came in and 
held the arrows off us. Christ's body was our shield 
of defence. Now, all ye that would be safe from judg- 
ment and the Avrath to come, lie under this wall ; keep 
the town as ye love your life ; hold you within the 
city. If ye should die in the cause, it is but a pint or 
quart of your blood that ye lose for Christ, and it is 
not lost, it will surely be restored. Satan and the 
world strives to make a gap in this wall and to take the 

* It seems to be for ''shooting." 



320 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



town; but stay within the ports and be saved. The Jews 
cast down this wall, but our Lord built it up in three 
days. It is a great benefit to us, that when (whereas) 
mountains of sin were betwixt God and us, now we 
are made so near, that in Christ there is but a wall be- 
twixt God and us. How foolish is the church of Rome, 
that takes such a long journey by saints and angels to 
go to God by, when the way is e^sy and near, if they 
would come to Jesus Christ. 

" He looketh forth at tJie windows, showing Hi7nself 
through the latticeJ^ — This looking out at the windows, 
and through the lattice, signifies the Lord Jesus show- 
ing Himself to His elect through the windows of His 
human nature. Jesus is a fioAver set in the Avindows 
of the human nature, and a rose with many leaves, 
that casteth a sweet smell through mankind. For as 
Jesus Christ is man, the Lord strikes certain windows 
out of Him. Now the use of Avindows is, that such as 
are within the house may see such as are without the 
house, and that they may see them again. Christ had 
infirmities as we have every way, except sin, for in that 
He suffered Himself, and was tempted. He is able to 
succour them that are tempted. ^' He was a man of 
sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah liii. 3). 
Now at the window of His own sorrow, He looketh out 
to your sorrow, and my sorrow, and out at this window 
He sees all the mourners of Zion, and the broken- 
hearted. This is a sweet thing that the cross of Christ 
is so fair a glass, in which He sees our heavy cross. 
Dost thou sigh and groan? Jesus Himself sighed, and 
saw these sighs in the glass of His own. Art thou 
poor? pitiful Jesus sees thy poverty, He knows what it 
is to be poor. He was poor Himself Art thou hungry 
and thirsty ? so was our Lord Jesus. And Jesus Christ 
knows what it is to die, for He died Himself. Here are 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



321 



the emblems or Christ and His church. Jesus has 
gone along the narrow bridge, and He reaches back 
His hand to lead us along the bridge. Christ and we 
came to a deep running water together, Christ ventured 
His life to dry the ford, and having broken the streams 
of it, He runs back and convoys us through with Him- 
self. " For we have not an high priest who cannot be 
touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in 
all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 
iv. 15). And more; when He bruised our Lord Jesus, 
He did strike out fair windows in His body, deep win- 
dows with abundance of blood gushing out at them ; 
and through these windows, we see Jesus in His love 
and in His mercy. We see His tender heart for us 
when we are under crosses and infirmities ; we have a 
copy before our eyes. All ye crossed ones of Jesus, 
look up to this window, and behold the like in Christ. 
When a potter is to make a number of vessels all of 
one measure, he casts one first in the mould, which is 
a pattern to all the rest. So Christ, being first cast 
in the mould, must have all His elect children to be 
so also, all must have His stamp, His colour, His 
livery. His coat of arms." 

''My beloved spake and said tinto iner — Now does 
the Church relate the words of her beloved calling 
upon her ; and see how many ways the Lord shows 
himself to His church, i. He speaks to her ear. 2. 
He runs and leaps before her eye. 3. He stands be- 
hind the wall. 4. He looks out at the window to her. 
5. He ends as He began, and speaks to her ear. This 
lets us see there are some happy times, wherein Christ 
urgeth Himself upon His children, and fills both ears, 
eyes, tongues, hands, hearts, and fills all with Christ. 
The soul of the child of God has certain feast days; 
it is even with the child of God, as it is with Jordan, 

X 



j22 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



all the banks are full; sometimes the soul will be full of 
Christ, so that it is full from bank to brae. See how 
Christ fills the apostle, i John i. i, "That which was 
from the beginning, which we have heard, which we 
have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, 
and our hands have handled of the Word of life, verse 
3, that which we have heard and seen declare we unto 
you." Behold the apostle is going round about Christ, 
and filling himself with Christ, like hungry men at a 
feast. They hear Him, they see Him, they look upon 
Him, and eye Him, and which is more, they handle 
Him with their hands. O ! these are glorious times 
when the child of God gets a great feast of Christ ; 
and if He fill us here while we are from home, and are 
such narrow-hearted vessels that God must enlarge us, 
Psalm cxix. 32. How full shall we be of God when we 
shall see Him as He is ! Psalm Ixiii. 5. " My soul 
shall be filled as with marrow and fatness. Eat, O 
friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved," 
Cant. V. I. When any of these glorious times comes, 
we may not think but Christ will away again. What 
should we then do ? Even as Joseph did, he caused 
his brethren to leave a pledge to assure him that they 
would return again : so ye must cause Jesus to leave 
His seal, and His ring, and some footsteps of His 
grace, and take instruments in the hand of the Spirit, 
that He will return. 

Ye see in the Church a sweet and commendable 
virtue in these words, she sets do\vn the very progress 
of all the ways and dealings of the King of kings to 
her soul. In all His ways she sees what Christ is 
doing ; when He is afar off, she knows Him, she 
sees Him running and leaping, she sees Him be- 
hind the wall, looking out at the windows, and through 
the lattice. She hears Him nearer hand speaking, she 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



writes up His very words. We see the child of God 
marks the ebbings and the fiowings, the comings and 
goings of the Spirit of God, and sees Christ in all His 
footsteps. When Christ comes at the dead hour of 
the night, she hears His knocks through her sleep, and 
knows His voice. He can put in His hand, and open 
the bar of her conscience to come in, she knows what 
He is doing, she feels the smell that drops from His 
finger-ends. What bred''' experience of Christ ? even 
a daily walking with Him, ye know the courtiours that 
are about the king's person day and night, they can 
write a chronicle of the king's life, and can tell how 
many miles he rides in the day. So says David, " My 
eyes are ever towards the Lord.'' Then ye must see 
what God is doing: it is God's quarrel with Jerusalem, 
that she knew not the things that belonged to her 
peace. God was offering peace to her, tut she knew 
not what He was doing. This is the way of the wicked, 
God is on their right hand, and on their left hand, be- 
hind them, and before them, and they never see Him; 
they regard not the work of the Lord. There is fire 
made ready in heaven, and Sodom eats and drinks till 
God comes with fire and brimstone and draws the 
table. The old world is making marriages, and sees 
not what I^oah sees, till God, with the deluge of water, 
comes to the ending of their contracts. Men will not 
give their conscience leave to believe all of God that 
it should believe ; they will not let their consciences 
go through the earth to see what God is doing, but im- 
prison, and set a march to it. All that we have to do 
in this life is to take heed what God does, and what we 
ourselves do. Isaiah xxvi. ii, " Lord, when Thy hand 
is lifted they will not see." It is the sin of our age, our 

Produced. 



324 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



Beloved is come on the mountains, yet His leaping 
upon us is like a serpent upon a stone, and like the 
way of an eagle in the air, it leaves no print of the 
Lord's footsteps behind it in men's hearts ; and (which 
is a more pitiful thing) God is departing and no man 
looks to it. The prophet Jeremiah has a word which 
is the very extracts'^ of Scotland's case, Jer. xii. 4. He 
sees the cause of God's wrath upon man and beast was 
upon the account of a speech among the people; " He 
shall not see our last end." A strange word ! they say 
we shall die, and run through hell and the grave, and 
leap into eternity, and the Lord shall never see us ! 
So we have said, God shall not see our last end; be- 
cause we see not God, we think God sees not us ; but 
persuade yourselves Scotland's doom is given up in 
heaven. And, therefore, for the glory of God, and 
your own salvation, see what God is doing. I will tell 
you what He is doing ; He is bidding the king take 
his dought upon His shoulder, in the twilight of the 
evening, because he must surely go into captivity. 

" Rise up, my love, 7ny fair one, and come away,^^ 
— Here is two things to be exponed. i. Christ 
exhorting her to arise and come away. 2. Our 
Lord's title and style that He gives her, *^ My love, my 
fair one." The exhortation we may marvel at. What 
needs our Lord bid her arise and come away, for 
she cannot but wait; for he is corning to her. J But 
if Jesus come never so near a sitting and sleeping soul 
(as the church is here) Christ and that soul shall never 
meet. Before ever the Lord Jesus and we meet, we 

* ** Extracts," the sum; the essence. 

t Ezekiel xii. 3, 6, ** Stuff." The "dough" is from Exodus 
xii. 34. 

% ** And loving her is an answer," is added in the old copy— 
unintelUgible. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



325 



must once be wakened, and set upon our feet; 'tis 
true our Lord Jesus comes to us all lying ; but before 
He and we have struck hands together, we must be 
on our feet. Ye have a notable example of this, 
Cant. V. Christ comes a far journey to His spouse, 
our dear Lord Jesus, His head and His locks were 
wet with dew and rain. He comes to the door. He 
speaks to her, and she to Him, there is but a thin 
door betwixt them, men would think they will meet 
now; and yet for as near as Christ was to her they 
meet not; He goes His way, and that was upon the 
account she would not soil her feet, and open to Him. 
The reason is, heaven and salvation come to no man 
in a dream. There be two graces given to the chil- 
dren of God when the Lord and they meet, God's 
knocking and calling, or grace knocking and calling 
without; and God's wakening grace stirring up the 
soul within. When Christ comes near you in the 
word and sacraments beware of security. I know 
none in God's word that sleeped when they had the 
presence of Christ with them, but the three disciples. 
And they wakened with sorrowful hearts, they lost 
their Master, and never got Him again till He was 
shamefully put to death. Oh ! security, security ! 
may be called the Christian's falling sickness, wher- 
ever this sickness comes upon him, it will cast him 
into the fire and into the water. Solomon had a bed 
watched about with "threescore valiant men, that 
were expert in war " (Cant iii. 7). The spiritual mean- 
ing is, Christ is our Solomon, and the king of peace, 
that dwells in our hearts, and the souls of His children, 
by faith ; (He lies betwixt their two breasts), so the 
bed of Christ must be guarded by more than three- 
score watchful thoughts, for fear Christ should be 
stolen out of the soul, when the soul sleeps: and for 



326 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



fear that the new creature, or the image of God in 
man should be destroyed. Sleeping is an enemy to 
health, when used too much, especially in the spring 
time, for it breeds fevers, and many dangerous diseases; 
much waking preserves the health. When the Gospel 
is in a land, then is spring time ; and ye lose the life 
of godliness, and fall in dangerous diseases of soul, if 
ye fall asleep then. It is true, God dealeth mercifully 
with His own electa howbeit they be secure, and for- 
sake them not, but it is not their deserving. David 
cried to Abner, because he watched not carefully his 
master, Saul, i Sam. xxvi. i6, "As the Lord liveth, ye 
are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your 
master, the Lord's anointed." So it may be said to 
many Christians, " As the Lord liveth, ye are worthy 
of death, because ye watched not over Christ when 
dwelhng in your hearts." 

Now, if you shall ask for a guard to watch the soul, 
take these following. The first soldier that should be 
set in the very entry of your soul is, " the fear of God^ 
See how excellently these two are conjoined, as the 
cause and the effect, fearing of God, and running 
away from evil. The second soldier to set at the 
door of your soul is, sobriety and temper ance^ Noah 
and Lot forgot these, and therefore they fell into 
a nap or sleep. This sobriety is a modest and wise 
carriage, in the enjoying of the pleasures of this 
life. I Peter v. 8, " Be sober and vigilant," &c. The 
third soldier is that virtue which Solomon calls discre- 
tio7i; let it be before the door to try what guests come 
into the soul, what thoughts enter in. As the apostle 
John says, " Try the spirits whether they be of God or 
not." One devil is like another devil, and when we 
are thinking we are holding out one, another rushes 
in. The fourth soldier is suspicion and fear of our own 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



327 



7uays, which should hold us waking. "Blessed is the 
man that feareth always " (Proverbs xxviii. 14). Paul 
says to Timothy, ** In all things watch;" even in the 
things of this life, in the setting a cup to our head, in 
the putting a bite in our mouth, or a soup at table, we 
should watch. If that seems to be but a feckless 
business, yet the devil entered into Judas with a soup ; 
it is to make us careful between the hand and the 
mouth, to look to ourselves. To speak two pitiful 
words to a friend seems a small matter; yet when 
Peter said to our Lord, " Master, pity Thyself,*' he was 
the devil's agent in that. Believe never well of your- 
self, nor of the old man within you. Let no man pass 
his word, or be caution for his o^\n heart, " for the heart 
is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, 
who can know it ?" (Jer. xvii. 9). The fifth soldier that 
stands at the door of the heart is vieditatmi on death; 
let the meditation of death stand in the threshold of 
the door. Wherefore doth Jerusalem (Lam. i. 9) come 
doN^Ti wonderfully? but because she remembered not 
her last end. If men would remember Christ and 
that death and judgment come in the night as a thief, 
they would have their hand ever at the door bar, and 
stand behind the door, watching till the Lord should 
knock, " Blessed is the man whom his Lord shall find 
so doing.'' The sixth soldier that keeps the soul ever 
on foot, is a continual practice of good, and walking 
with God, Moving, walking, and serious business 
keep men from sleeping. Only be even-down honest 
with God, walking A\ith Him in sincerity and truth, 
looking into His mercy, justice, kindness, and power. 
Remember the great work of your salvation, the keep- 
ing of an immortal soul, the gaining or losing of Christ. 
The seventh soldier, and last man of the guard, that I 
shall mention at this time is Faith^ which tells us of 



328 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



the particular passages of heaven, hell, and judgment, 
of the wiles and devices of the roaring lion. And 
these be Solomon's valiant men that watch about His 
bed (Song iii. 7). I mean the graces of God that keep 
Christ in the soul. 

In this compellation there are two things to be 
cleared, i. That He calleth her His love and His 
fair one. (We heard before how the Church called 
Christ HER Beloved.) 2. That He calls her in this 
exhortation, ^' love and fair one.'" Therefore, we must 
once for all expound in what meaning the Church is 
Christ's, and how He does, in law and equity, appro- 
priate her to Himself, as His own. And i. We are to 
observe that Christ has a right to the Church by birth ; 
for He made us, and by the law of creation we are His, 
as the vessels are the potter's. And man did continue 
Christ's this way, even till He sold himself to Satan 
and sin ; and now by nature we are the sons of God's 
wrath, strangers from the life of God (Ephes. iv. 18). 
Adam did us this ill turn ; he sold us unto Satan for 
the forbidden fruit. And yet, howbeit the inheritance 
was sold, Christ, being the nearest heir, was most kindly 
tQ US'" as we say. The nearest kinsman among the 
Jews was a type of Christ. Among the Jews, he 
that redeemed land, or was a Goel, Brother, or Re- 
deemer, behoved to have these two in his person ; 
first, he behoved to have riches and substance to pay 
the sum that so he might enter into the inheritance ; 
secondly, he behoved to be a brother or a near kins- 
man, and not a stranger. Now, these two were in 
Christ. I. He was a brother, nearest the house; He 
was no stranger, but Emmanuel, *•' God with us," and 
took on Him not the nature of ansrels but the seed of 



* Acted according to His near relationship. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



329 



Abraham; and so the law made Him nearest heir, and 
He had the right of reversion.*^ And then 2. He is 
a kinsman of great riches and substance; for He was 
God Himself, the Lord of lords, and Prince of the 
kings of the earth (Rev. i. 5). 

Here, then, we have to consider i. With whom our 
Lord did bargain. 2. What price He gave for His 
Church. 3. How He takes possession. 

There were three sorts of persons Christ had to do 
with in redeeming us. i. The Lord, whose ^vrath 
and justice have a just claim to sinners ; He was the 
principal to whom the price of redemption should be 
paid, and He was the person offended. Jesus satisfied 
Him, paid and satisfied Him foreman, so that He said 
of Him, "This is my well-beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased." Now there was many claims, and 
arrestments upon the inheritance, before Jesus got it; 
there were parties at variance to be reconciled. There 
was first mercy and truth, saying, Alas ! shall silly man 
die ? truth and justice on the contrary pleading. Why 
should not man die ? has not the God of truth said, 
that sinners shall die ? Yes, says Jesus, man shall die; 
man shall die, for His word must be true ; I am man, 
I am made of the Father, that I might die for sinners, 
and truth and justice shall be pleased, for I will die 
for men and save them ; and mercy shall be pleased 
also, I will pity man and give my blood for him. Be- 
hold how Jesus made mercy and justice to shake hands 
and kiss each other. Blessed be our Peacemaker ! 
2. The law and the sinner were at red-warf against 
each other. It was the poor sinner's complaint, *'I 
cannot speak an idle word, or think an idle thought, 



* In Scotch law, reversion is the right to redeem property 
under mortgage. t Violent ; war to the knife. 



330 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



but it presently condemns me." And the law cried 
out against the sinner, " Man does neither eat nor 
drink, sleep nor wake, sleep nor think, but he treads 
me under foot ; my curse (says the law) and the curse 
of God be upon him." But Jesus answered, "The 
curse of the law be upon Me, all the elect's idle words 
and thoughts be upon Me ; all their light words and 
sinful deeds be upon Me.'* And upon this satisfaction 
the law is pleased ^vith man. Whereas before it was 
a killing and condemning letter, working wrath, Christ 
turned it into a sweet and pleasant way to heaven. 
See what the child of God says, O ! how I love Thy 
law ! it is my meditation all the day or continually. 
Whereas the sinner under God's wrath says, " How 
hate I Thy law," behold Jesus hath made the believing 
sinner and the law shake hands together. 3. There 
were some parties that usurped the inheritance, but 
had no just right or title thereto, viz., Satan, that arch- 
foe, and grand enemy of man's salvation. But Jesun 
would use no law with Satan ; he spoiled principalities 
and powers ; for man being God's creature, had no 
right to sell himself to God's enemy. 

This much for the first anent being God's creature. 
As to the second, viz., the frice^ He gave for His own 
Church, His own precious blood, i Peter i. 10, " In 
whom we have redemption through His blood, the for- 
giveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 
(Eph. i. 7); for we are not our own, we are bought with 
a price." 

A third point is anent our LorcTs actual possession; 
wherein there be these three acts of the Father and 
the Son. " All that the Father giveth Me shall come 
unto Me, and him that cometh unto Me I will 
in no wise cast out" (John vi. 37). "I have mani- 
fested Thy name unto the men which thou gavest Me 



COMMUNION' SERMONS. 



331 



out of the world, thine they were, and thou gavest them 
Me " (John xvii. 6). Upon the cross Christ paid for so 
many, and for no more. " I lay down My life for the 
sheep " (John x. 15). When the Father has given them, 
and the Son has paid the price, then Jesus has right 
indeed, but ^\^n\.^possesszo?i. He has them still to seek 
in the highway to hell, and must leap in with the sword 
of truth, and His sword girded upon His thigh, and take 
His sword. His bow, and His arrows in His hand. 
After He has fought a hard battle with God's 
wrath, and won the field, and escaped with His life. 
He must fight against the rebels whom He has good 
right to by virtue of His blood, and must pull down 
every stronghold and high imagination in the soul; 
and must come in and put the devil of hell to the 
doors, and take man for His own use and service. He 
seeks him long ere He gets him to answer when He 
calls. But when He meets with them. He makes a 
covenant with them, and they become His. *^ Now 
when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, 
thy time was a time of love ; and I spread my skirt 
over thee, and covered thy nakedness ; yea, I sware 
imto thee, and thou becomest mine, and I entered into 
a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God'' (Ezek. xvi. 8). 
There be five things that give Jesus a right to us. 
I. The Father's giving us in election. This is not so 
much an actual giving, as a purpose to give, for He 
but marks us for the giving, and here the Father says. 
Son, win them and have them. 2. The Son takes on 
our nature, and in that becomes an heir to old Adam, 
to redeem his mortgage. 3. The Son gives a price for 
us on the cross. 4. The Father makes a second 
resignation of man, and says, Son,Thou didst sweat for 
man, behold I give him to Thee, " Ask of Me, and I 
will give Thee the heathen for Tliine inheritance, and 



332 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession " 
(Psal. ii. 8). " He shall have dominion also from sea 
to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth'' 
(Psalm Ixxii. 8). O ! welF is our soul when the Father 
and the Son come (if we may so speak) to bidingf and 
loving. 5. The Son seeks our consent, and brings us 
in, and says unto us, as it were, what think ye ? will 
ye put in your names with Mine ? And this should 
teach us our whole life to suspect our ways, even in 
God's ways or service, when we please ourselves. We 
should serve God as if we were not our own. A 
Christian is in a soldier's state, having received bounty- 
money, and the captain having enrolled his name, 
he is no more his own man, he is his captain's. There 
be many ^v^lo wait upon God, like these they call de- 
pendents, waiting upon a nobleman ; they are content 
to ride with the nobleman, and at times to serve him, 
and attend on him. Yet it is for his countenance or 
some gain in the meantime, they will not be tied to a 
daily onwaiting; they would for all that be their own 
men, and live at liberty in their own houses. So there 
be a number in the world, that are God's dependers and 
onwaiters as they are called, who at a start, will ride 
and run for God, and profess they are Christ's; yet they 
will serve their lusts and please themselves, or follow 
their own pleasures ; they will not wait on as God's 
chamber-boys. But if ye be Christ's, ye must be His 
chamber-boys, and not have a house or calling of your 
own to serve your lusts with. Ye must stand always 
before Him as a page waiting on, and not like a landed 
gentleman, that keeps a day of lawj with a certain 
nobleman, and perhaps for a year after will not saddle 

* Good is it for the soul. + Staying with us. 

X Some special day in the year ; a court-day. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



ZZ2* 



a horse for hirn. We deal with God as with children, 
who give and then take again, and we be like some that 
sell the land, and yet keep possession. We sell ourselves 
to Christ, and yet keep our hearts in our own possession. 
Now, beloved, ye all deem yourselves to be the re- 
deemed of Christ, and I would it were so ; but if ye 
be redeemed, ye are redeemed both in body and soul, 
and ye are not your own, neither must ye be your own. 
Your tongue is not your own, Christ has bought it 
with the rest of your body; ye must not therefore 
speak what seemeth good unto you. Your hands and 
your feet are not your own, ye must not work and walk 
at your own pleasure. Your eyes and heart are not 
your own, ye must not look to, or think what ye please 
or desire, and let the affections run out after Christ, 
with the bridle in their teeth ! for ye must be either 
Christ's or your own. Wrong not our Lord Jesus, to 
spoil Him of His right. And again; give Christ pos- 
session, for in His word and sacraments He brings all 
His rights with Him. The decree is *' Whosoever be- 
lieves is Mine." Amen, dear Jesus. "As many as I 
paid the price of My blood for are Mine." In comes 
Christ by His Spirit to the believer's heart saying, *' I 
paid the price with My blood for John, Mary, and all 
others of the elect, therefore they are Mine." Now, if 
ye can believe, see how you and Christ meet. He takes 
possession* of you earth and stone this day. Then, will 
ye not believe ? O ! then, ye put Christ out of His 
possession : beware Christ do not go to law with you. 
For it is so with all mankind; we must compound 
with Christ, and give Him what He will, that is 

* In the old copy, ''^possession of earth and stone.''^ The 
allusion is to the custom of giving a turf or stone to the person in 
delivering an estate to the person. 



334 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



obedience of faith : otherwise if men will not 
beHeve they renounce the Gospel; they force ^' 
Christ's infeftment. They say, Let Christ say what 
He will, and do what He will, I will bide the worst, 
I will not agree. What then remains, but that 
God may say. Since ye appeal to the law, ye shall go. 
And alas ! poor sinner, there ye will get sharp justice, 
for there the Judge's first and last word will be, God's 
curse upon thee ! 

Has the Church lain down, now when Jesus has 
but turned His back? Has she forgot that He 
took her into the wine-cellar, and that His arms 
were about her neck and waist, when she thought 
his fruit sweet to her taste ? Yea, surely ! (Howbeit 
Paul hath been up in the third heaven, he will grow 
proud after it.) Yet how doth Christ waken her? 
Not with a rod as she deserved, but in great meekness. 
Howbeit she had forgotten Jesus Christ, and turned 
her back upon Him, yet our Lord says not, I shall 
never welcome thee as I did before, I shall have no 
more ado with you. No, no, but in meekness he says, 
''Rise tip, My love, My fair o?te, atid come away.^^ 
When once Christ has gotten His poor elect within the 
reach of mercy. He holds mercy and truth before their 
eyes (Cant. v. 2.) The Church shutst Christ to the 
door, and yet He never gives her a hard word ; but, 
" Open to Me, My sister, My love, My dove," for your 
loving husband stands without, with His head all wet 
with dew, and His locks with the drops of the night." 
He spoke never a word to Zaccheus, Peter, and the 
thief on the cross that died with Him. " Return ye 
backsliding children," that is God's word to draw Israel 

* They violently reject. Infeftment is the act of giving 
possession. t Pushes. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 335 



to repentance, " for I am married unto you.^' I pray 
you return, we may not sunder and part so, dear 
Israel. " He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, He 
shall gather the lambs with His arm (He has not a 
shepherd's staff to cast at them), and carry them in 
His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with 
young" (Isaiah xl. 11). If ye would know the reason of 
this, then, 

1. Wherever the spirit of adoption is, it is a sweet, 
gentle, and meek spirit, and mercy is God's key that 
agrees with our hearts. Christ as Mediator does always 
come with peace. He brings good news. If the Gospel 
denounces wrath, it but puts a seal to the law's wrath, 
" He that believes not is condemned already." Wrath 
abides on him, which was on him before. 

2. To whom is Christ now speaking ? He is speak- 
ing to the elect that are in Christ. Now if Christ 
would summon a child of God before Him to answer 
as law will, he would refuse to obey the summons, and 
why? Because he would say, *^ I am not under the 
law, but under grace," I am dead to the law as a cove- 
nant of works, though under it as a rule of life, I have 
a Saviour, I have nothing to do with the law, I am in 
Christ, I am not obliged to answer that Court ; ye will 
get nothing of me, I am not lawbiding. ^ But ye 
will say then, Does not Christ threaten in the Gospel, 
that He that believes not is condemned already ? will 
He not thunder out judgments against His own 
children? and convince their consciences of sin by 
His Holy Spirit ? John xvi. 8 says, " He shall con- 
vince the world of sin.'' Writes He not who has the 
seven stars in His right hand, sharp rebukes against 
the churches of Asia, that He will remove the candle- 

* Subject to the law's demand. 



336 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



Stick from among them ? I answer, God threatens in 
the Gospel indeed, but He doth it this way ; he never 
cuts away hope of mercy so long as the Gospel is 
preached. The Gospel condemns sin, and infidelity, 
and denounces wrath : but this is always a new song 
in the end of it, " Believe and repent for all that ye 
have done, and ye shall be saved." But at the first 
breach the laws says, " The wrath of God and hell be 
upon sinners." And howbeit sinners would repent, yet 
the law will hear of no repentance ; the Gospel says 
repent, or else ye shall perish. 

3. Christ, the Mediator, speaks of judgment, even 
to the elect, but not as mediator. He knows the 
tongue and legs of the severe and self-condemning law, 
and then He speaks to the old man, to sin that dwells 
in the members. But the new man is the child of 
God. Although God Himself should come against 
him in law, he would say, I have nothing to do with 
the law, I am dead to the law, the law was my first 
husband, and I am married to a second husband, even 
to Christ Jesus. And here the Lord Jesus in threat- 
ening the elect with His judgment, and with the law, 
and wrath, is even like a man that summons his 
friends before a judge, but never calls ^ the sum- 
mons. Why ? They agree at home, and he passes 
from his claim. Jesus will summon His friend before 
the Judge of the world to answer, and threatens them; 
but in the meantime He sends His Holy Spirit to the 
soul, as a daysman, that makes us agree with Christ, 
and grip to His death ; so our dear Lord Jesus Christ 
passes from His claim, and we agree. For a believing 
sinner in Christ will never be heard before a judge; 
they agree at length betwixt themselves. You shall 

* Actually enforces it — like calling in debts. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



337 



get this doctrine warranted and proven from Jeremiah 
xxxi. 20. ^^ Is Ephraim my dear son ? is he a pleasant 
child ? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly 
remember him still." I summoned Ephraim, my dear 
son, before my tribunal, and I have denounced fearful 
judgments against him, but think ye God will call the 
summons, and bring on the judgments ? Nay, read 
the following words, '' For since I spake against him, 
I do earnestly remember him still ; therefore my bowels 
are troubled for him : I will surely have mercy upon 
him, saith the Lord." What is that else but this ? 
Howbeit I have summoned Ephraim, yet I shall never 
call * the summons ; I shall cancel the processes and 
pass from my claim. O, well said, sweet Lord ! 

Now let us apply the doctrine. The Gospel speaks 
nothing in effect to God's children, but ^' j\Iy heart and 
my joy ; " it says only, " Arise, my fair one, and conie 
away'' Yet doleful shall the day be that comes on 
them who contemn the Gospel, and the offers of Christ 
and His righteousness held forth therein. O how good 
a case are they in that are found in Christ ; O woeful 
will be the case of such as reject Him. Such as are in 
Christ, they need not thank the law for any mercy they 
get. Yet the law can hinder no man from God's mercy; 
and there are good news following notwithstanding of 
all the hard news that the law speaks of. But such as 
sin against the Gospel, there shall never another Gospel 
be preached unto them ; for the next Gospel that the 
rebels, who hate God, shall hear shall be, " Depart 
from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." The Gospel- 
time is a dangerous time for a hard-hearted sinner. 
We in Scotland are now between heaven and hell — 
either now or never ! This Gospel is God's mariner 

Carry it out into effect at law. 
V 



338 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



crying, '^ Tide ! tide ! who will sail to Canaan?" God 
says, Hear Him now, or else God shall be silent, and 
ye shall cry next to hills and mountains to fall on 
you. But here is the case of our Kingdom ; mercy is 
fully holden out to us, and laid open to us, and we 
have trodden it under foot. There are but two meet- 
ings in the world ; the first is the meeting of a broken- 
hearted sinner and a merciful God — this meeting we 
have now. The other meeting is fast coming, and it 
is a meeting betwixt a guilty sinner and a wrathful 
Judge. But if God and His Kingdom meet not in 
wrath, for the contempt of the Gospel and other great 
and grievous sins. He has forgotten to be just who is 
holy and just in all His ways. 

" Come awayP — ^This part of the exhortation is as 
much as if our Lord would have the Church leave some 
place she is in and come to Himself Man never need 
think to come to Christ and bring his old sins with him. 
God finds fault with His people for this in Jeremiah 
vii. 9, lo, " Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, 
and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and 
walk after other gods whom ye know not ; and come 
and stand before Me in this house, which is called by 
My name ?" Many come to Christ as the young man 
that kept the commandments from his youth. Many 
come and would fill God's hand with sacrifices and new 
moons, as Isaiah i. 1 1-17. But God puts another task 
in their hand ; " Wash ye, make you clean, put away 
the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, cease 
to do evil, learn to do well." Before ever John the 
Baptist spake of Christ, he begins at this. Repent and 
mend your lives. If Christ would welcome all that 
would come to Him, pleasing themselves with a 
back-burden of sins and lusts, he would have a thick 
court. Well, beloved, ye come to Jesus (as ye think) 



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339 



when ye come to the Lord's Supper ; have ye brought 
your lusts with you ? Is there a sin that ye have pur- 
posed to keep ? Then I give you your doom out of 
Jeremiah xv. i. God says of such men, " Cast them 
out of My sight, and let them go forth ; " a doleful 
word ; they and I shall never see each other's faces 
again ! God forbids His prophet to pray for them, nor 
to lift up a cry for them, for He says. He will nor hear 
them. Would any man say that Judas was welcome 
to Christ, who came and kissed Him, and in the 
meantime had a band of men at his back, that were 
set upon killing, and not upon kissing ? Shall men be 
welcome, then, who come to Christ's house, with a 
burden of sin upon their back? who would crucify 
again the Lord of glory? Christ, in the word and 
sacrament, is like a king coming into a prison, and 
calling out so many by their names, and then depart- 
ing and causing the prison doors to be closed again. 
AVhen He has called the roll, and so many in Corinth, 
and Ephesus, yea, and in Scotland^ have answered as 
are in His count book. He seeks no more. 

" For lo ! the 7ut?iter is past J' — In these words Jesus 
tells the spouse, that the winter is past ; Christ invites 
His bride and Church to rise out of her dead sleep, 
and to come to Him ; and the argument is taken 
from the time and season which is fit for journeying. 
It is now the spring and summer quarter, and winter's 
rough weather is past and gone ; therefore, my love, 
^^ come away." The like reason does our Lord's Spirit 
use. Rom. xiii. 12, ^^The night is far spent, the day 
is at hand : let us therefore cast off the works of dark- 
ness, and let us put on the armour of light." 

Doctrine I. The first doctrine is; the militant church, 
while here, she has always a summer and a winter, 
according as she enjoys the Sun of Righteousness, who 



340 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



hath ^^ healing in His wings" (Malachi iv. 2.) "The 
dayspring from on high hath visited us " (Luke i. 7, 8), 
and "Gentiles shall come to Thy light, and kings to the 
brightness of Thy rising" (Isaiah Ix. i, 2, 3). "lam 
the light of the world " (John viii. 12). Now, when the 
sun departs, when Jesus goes away, then it is dead 
winter with the Church. So then ye see that the doc- 
trine is warrantable from Scripture. It is clear that 
under Joshua the Church had her summer and fair 
weather ; the prince of their salvation did fight for them 
and their enemies were subdued under them (Josh. v. 
14). Again, the Lord left them many times under the 
Judges, and sold them to their enemies, and this was 
their winter, when God departed from them, and they 
worshipped other gods. And are they not sometimes 
mourning, at the rivers of Babel ? and sometimes 
dwelling peaceably under their own fig-tree ! This is 
true, that the Church in respect of outward peace and 
war is changeable ; for she must wade through one 
water, and then she goes some miles on dry land, and 
then a water again. 2. In respect of the outward min- 
istry of the word, Christ, when He has taken such as 
the Father has marked, then He blows out the candle. 
3. In respect of His felt presence. He is ever coming 
and going, and He must up to court to His Father, 
and send down love-letters to us again. Christ Jesus, 
in the power and ministry of the word, is an abiding 
heritage to no people. Our Lord is riding through the 
world, on the white horse of the Gospel, riding indeed 
triumphantly, and as His people welcome Him, so 
does He remain. Christ Jesus in the Gospel, is like 
a king's servant, that comes into a prison, where there 
is neither coal nor candle, and brings a lighted candle 
in His hand, with a roll of 100 or 200 among 10,000, 
and the King's warrant to bring so many out; He calls 



COMMUyiON SERMOyS. 



341 



the roll and brings them out, and blows out the candle, 
and then shuts the prison doors again, and lets the 
rest lie there till the day of execution. Jesus comes 
to blind Scotland, and finds them all in Satan's prison, 
without any light ; He has two papers in His hand ; 
one wherein the evangel is written ; in it He preaches 
the casting'^ up of the prison doors to the captives ; in 
the other the names of the elect. Now the roll is 
called, answer, for the winter will come, and then the 
prison doors will be closed. Christ is amongst us now 
on horseback, the summer is now well near an end. 
Ye know what be the tokens of winter ? Before the 
winter, the leaves fall off the trees : men now fall from 
their profession ; many are ashamed to own Christ, 
and to profess Him, they wdil not be called Puritans. 
Trees dry up, and cast their fruit ; and become barren ; 
ye never saw the Gospel barrener in good works, and 
alms deeds than now. The very repairing of God's 
house, in our own parish church, you need go no 
further, — the timber of the house of God rots, and we 
cannot move a whole parish to spend twenty or thirty 
pounds Scotst, upon the house of God to keep it dry. 
Doctrine H. — A people in a land are in a lamentable 
case when Christ and His Gospel is not among them. 
Let men that want Christ go where they will, the wind 
is ever upon their face ; it is always dead winter with 
them. Ezekiel (xvi. 4, 5) says, ^^In the day thou wast 
born, thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed 
in water to supple thee ; thou wast not salted at all, 
nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any 
of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but 



* The throwing open ; the expresdon may allude to * * casting 
up " the portcullis of a castle, 
t About thirty or fifty shillings. 



34^ 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



thou was cast out in the open field, to the lothing oi 
thy person, in the day that thou wast bom." Hosea 
vii. 11-13, ^^Ephraim is a silly dove without heart; they 
call to Egypt, they go to Assyria. When they shall go, 
I will spread my net upon them ; I will bring them down 
as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them. Woe 
unto them ! for they have fled from me, destruction 
unto them ! because they have transgressed against 
me." In such a case it being winter, there is no 
fit season for travelling to Christ, the rivers and waters 
are all aloft and swelled ; and the great river of the 
displeasure of a wrathful God is betwixt the soul and 
Christ, and neither man nor horseman dare venture 
upon that river. Then let men who are not in Christ 
judge of their own case as they please, they cannot go 
to table, or yet to bed, but the vengeance of God is 
hard upon their back, for they that want Christ, "walk 
in the vanity of theirmind" (Eph. iv. 17, 18). "Having 
the understanding darkened, being alienated from the 
life of God, being past feeling." There are frozen 
hearts, and howbeit all the devils in hell dance upon a 
frozen heart, it feels not. A man who is sensible that 
he is under the curse of the law, sees the wrath of God 
betwixt him and God as a great river, and for his life, 
he dare neither swim, sail, nor wade on foot ; Christ 
must come through the water, in the great ship of His 
bloody merits, and so carry him over to dry land. 
The soul and conscience of some is so frozen, that 
neither God's mercy, Christ's blood, nor the fire of 
hell's terror, will melt it ; it is like Jerusalem. Zeph. 
i. 12, "That are settled on their lees; that say in their 
heart, the Lord will not do good, neither will He do 
evil." Jeremiah xlviii. 11, What are your privileges 
by the Gospel ? a. Howbeit we are bounded by the 
river of God's wrath. Yet we come to the waterside 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



343 



and cry to Jesus, " Lord, take me over ! Come and 
hoist sails and fetch us over.'' For the law, and 
God's wrath, and the Spirit accompanying it, will 
make us pray, " O wretched man that I am ! who 
shall deliver me from the body of this death ? " (Eom 
vii. 24). b. There is another help of the Gospel. 
We know not the way to heaven, and how we shall 
swim over the river, but the Gospel is God's memor- 
andum, telling us the way from this town to that town. 
It tells that Christ made Himself a bridge over the 
water and river of God's wrath. O it is the sweetest 
time we have in the world when Christ and the Gospel 
is among us I Then the sun shines upon our Jerusalem, 
the air is sweet, hot, and calm. The love of Jesus 
being shed abroad in the heart, the storms of God's 
wrath are over and gone, and the law dare not speak 
a word then ; but in every street the Lord Jesus is 
heard crying, "God's mercy, peace, and blessing be 
upon all them that believe on the Son of God." 

" The flowers appear upon the earths — Then there is 
a fair garden in the Church : the hedge of it is the 
two arms of God Almighty going about His church, 
and the flowers and plants in it are the men of Judah 
and Israel. His own people fruitful in good works, 
the planting of the Lord in whom He will be glorified. 
There is the garden. And there is a clear fountain, 
our Lord's blood, running abundantly to all thirsty 
sinners ; and in the midst of all the flowers of the 
garden is the Rose of roses, with an hundred, yea a 
thousand leaves, even Jesus, "' the Rose of Sharon.'' 
The wind that blows upon this garden is the sweet 
north and south wind of the Spirit, blowing upon the 
beds of spices and causing them to cast out a sweet 
smell. And the voice of the birds sings sweet and 
glorious music, Christ speaking to His Church in His 



344 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



holy word, and His Church speaking to Him again in 
supplications, prayers, and thanksgivings. What plea- 
sure would any soul have in the way to heaven which 
is not to be found in this garden? Men seek rest, 
Christ promiseth soul-rest. Matthew xi. 28-30, "Come 
unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and 
I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and 
learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly, and ye shall 
find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and 
My burden is light." And do men decline sorrow, 
sadness, and grief, and affect pleasure and joy ? Then 
here is encouragement ; for "Wisdom's ways are ways 
of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." The 
voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the Tabernacles 
of the righteous. David says of the members of the 
church. Psalm xxxvi. 8, " They shall be abundantly 
satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt 
make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures." 

But I know the way to heaven is judged a harsh way, 
a low-lifed, sad, and melancholy way, full of tears 
and mourning. I answer : it is known to all divines, 
that in every regenerated man there is, as it were, two 
men, the new man and the old man, the Spirit and the 
flesh ; and these two men have contrary ways, contrary 
hearts, contrary hands, contrary judgments. When 
the children of God think the way to heaven unplea- 
sant, and full of sorrow, then the old man bears rule 
in the soul, and that is but the opinion of the old man. 
The way to heaven is not the worse, though it be so 
to corrupt nature, which judges heaven and Christ Him- 
self nothing worth. But ask the opinion of the new 
man, what he thinks of the way to heaven. O ! he 
will say ! God is dearer to him than thousands of 
gold and silver ! sweeter than honey and the honey- 
comb ! " Whom have I in heaven but Thee ? and there 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 345 



is none upon earth that I desire besides Thee " (Psalm 
Ixxiii. 25). If ye then ask what is the reason of their 
mourning, tears, wrestHng, agonies, and terrors of a 
guilty conscience ? I answer ; we may not think that 
the child of God, in His way to heaven, will never get 
a shower : nay, sometimes near mid-summer, there 
will fall out a blast of hail; but the nature and 
season of the year will soon melt and dry it up, and 
it will clear in the west, and the birds will renew 
their songs again, and the roses will spread their 
leaves again when the sun shines. So even whilst it 
is summer, the Sun of Righteousness will hide His face 
from the poor believer, Christ will seem to go away, 
and the conscience will quake and tremble. It was so 
with Hezekiah, when he mourned to God as a dove ; 
and chattered like a crane. It was not the fear of 
death, but because, when he was so near death, God, 
in His feeling, was so far from him. It is said of the 
turtle that after it has lost its marrow, it never sits on 
a green branch ; the soul that knows v/hat it is to want 
Christ under these terrors will never look a blythe 
look until it clear in the west again, and the Sun of 
Righteousness begin to break the clouds of His wrath. 
See ye not Job's case when he was deserted of God? '* Oh 
that I might have my request ; and that God would grant 
me the thing I long for 1 even that it would please God 
to destroy me ! that He would let loose His hand and 
cut me off!" (Job vi. 8, 9). I say, no man knows what 
it is to want God, but such as once had Him. Such 
will cry when He deserts them, O when wilt thou return 
again ! a thousand years in hell, for one kiss of a recon- 
ciled God ! Men will say this is winter indeed, and 
the child of God is going backward, under such 
conflicts. I answer, that nothing grows and flourishes 
in winter, but even then there are many sweet flowers 



346 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



in the soul springing. It is true, sense and feeling 
wither, for it is not its time of year to grow ; but now 
under these desertions humility grows, feeling of guilt 
grows, the love and longing to be kissed with the 
kisses of His mouth grows, a care to seek God's face 
grows, and smells sweetly like the rose in June. 

The soul is never under such a good case as now ; 
for the souls of God's children are ever but in three 
cases. I. Towards Christ, it is mid-summer sometimes 
with the soul, when it enjoys God's sweet and felt 
presence. Sometimes we may be so drunken with 
sense, that we become proud and haughty. We think 
this a good case \ yet, there is great danger that we 
provoke our Lord Christ to go away from us. There- 
fore, we have now need of a holy fear, and of ardent 
prayer to God to continue our case. 2. The soul will 
be in such a winter, that the Lord will withdraw Him- 
self for many days and years, and yet the soul is so 
dead in sleepy security that it never misses Him. This 
is David's case; when news came to him that Uriah the 
Hittite was slain, he called it a chance of war, and sent 
Joab word to renew the battle again. But the Lord 
had then left David, and he knew it not. 3. The third 
case is best of all, when God is minting* to go away, 
and the child of God holds Him fast. And be per- 
suaded that God is well worthy! your souls, when it is 
at holding and drawing betwixt God and your soul. 
When God is saying as He did to Jacob, " Let Me go 
for the day breaketh," and Jacob said, " I will not let 
Thee go, except Thou bless me" (Genesis xxxii. 26). 
When God is sounding in the ear of Job's conscience, 
"Depart from me for I will destroy thee;" Job 

* Attempting ; making as if He would, 
t Perhaps, *'well worthy of.'' 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



347 



answers, " Lord, I will not leave Thee, I will not de- 
part from Thee : I will trust in thee, howbeit thou 
shouldst slay me." And when Christ saith to the 
woman of Canaan, I came to the world for the lost 
sheep of the house of Israel, I came not for you, yet 
she still raps, and knocks, and cries for ** mercy, 
mercy," and cries on Him, " Lord, sayst Thou so, that 
Thou camest not for me ? " She would take no such 
answer. Now it is the sweetest season in the year, 
when faith binds and holds Christ so fastened that He 
cannot win away. No cord will hold our Samson but 
faith, love, zeal, new desire of Christ, humility, &c. 
When all these graces flourish, then the soul has joy 
and comfort in Christ. 

Doctrine III. — The time of the Gospel is but short; 
it is but a summer quarter, or thirteen weeks as our 
text bears ; yea, but one day, Luke xix. 42, " If thou 
hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day." Yea, 
but a piece of a day, a little before supper time, when 
the King's table is covered for His guests, (Luke xiv. 
17). The longest date that the word of God gives to 
it is a year only, " the acceptable year of the Lord." 
I will persuade you that the summer runs away, and 
you may fear that Scotland's summer is near an end ; 
and happy are they that embrace the time, and spend 
the summer quarter in journeying to Jesus Christ. The 
damned in hell would buy time at the expense of 
lying ten thousand years in hell for freedom from that 
place of misery and woe, to enjoy the evening of one 
of our summer days. Germany and Bohemia mourn 
now that their summer is gone, as it is to be feared, 
with them. And we have cause to say with the Church, 
Jer. vi. 4, " Woe unto us ! for the day goeth away, for 
the shadows of the evening are stretched out." 

Doctrine IV. — When the Gospel is in a land, and 



348 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



the word of Christ among a people, in life and power 
of a heavenly ministry, the very season should move us 
to come to Christ. ^' The night is far spent, the day is at 
hand : let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, 
and let us put on the armour of light " (Rom xiii. 12). 
As if the apostle would say, It is a shame to lie asleep 
when the day is come and the night away ; therefore 
cast off your night clothes, and draw on your coat, put 
your arm over the bed-stock and reach to your clothes; 
take a grip of Christ and put Him on as the armour 
of light. " But let us, who are of the day, be sober, 
IDUtting on the breast-plate of faith and love, and for 
an helmit the hope of salvation" (i Thess. v. 8). The 
apostle there reasons for the noble parts of "faith and 
love," and to cover the head Avith everlasting glory. 
In the day of the Gospel, the Lord Jesus holds out in 
His right hand a lanthorn, and a fair candle in it, and 
is crying, " Run, run fast ! Haste, haste into Christ 
before the candle be blo^vn out." AVould you know 
what the Gospel is? It is Christ's *^ cock-crowing," 
crying, " Up, O sleeping world, ye have far to go ; it 
is along Journey to heaven, and it is hard upon day; 
I pray you ride and make for the gate." ^ The Gospel 
is Christ's hour, the summer-sun ; and all men know 
that the summer-sun is God's sandglass set above our 
head bidding the husbandman plough, sow, reap, for 
the winter is at hand — prepare houses and fire for the 
winter is at hand. So the Gospel is Christ's sandglass 
telling us the hour runs away ; labour for the meat 
that endures to everlasting life; provide for winter. 
The last trumpet will waken the deadest and deafest of 
sinners that are in the world, and those that are in the 
deepest sleep; but they shall get the most doleful 

* Set out on the road. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



349 



wakening who sleep when there is a candle burning, 
and a sim shining on their heads and bedsides — and 
these are they who sleep in the day of the Gospel. Men 
know that the Gospel is Christ's trumpet, and His 
voice, calling on all men whom it reaches; and ye 
know the poor man in the Gospel was so glad when 
they said, ^^ Arise, Christ calleth thee,'^ that he got up 
in haste and threw his cloak from him, that he might 
be the lighter and nimbler to run and come with speed 
to Jesus Christ. O beloved, up now ! Christ calls 
you ; cast off the world (it is an heavy cloak), and run 
to Jesus. And though men be obliged in the suntide"' 
to come to Christ, yet in the summer-tide of the Gospel 
men are under a more strict obligation. And this will 
more appear if you consider what way the Gospel offers 
Jesus Christ unto you. Christ is the food that feeds 
and nourishes His people's souls ; now. He cannot be 
eaten except He be dressed, and prepared, and broken 
to the soul. So long as Christ is not preached in the 
Gospel and offered in the Sacraments, He is a whole 
Christ and does not feed His people. But when we 
preach Christ before you, we let you see Him torn, 
rent, and wounded for sin. We lay Him upon your 
plate or trencher, in the word and sacraments. So you 
see it is summer : betwixt God and you be it, if ye 
come not to Jesus Christ again, t 

If we speak of those who live in the winter of ignor- 
ance, idolatry, &c., and never heard of Christ crucified; 
for anything I know Christ has not made a covenant of 
peace with them. The contract is but drawn up in a 
minutei and unsubscribed. But it is not so with such 



* During the time the sun shines. They must come at any rate 
while it is day. t Probably "Anon j " at once. 

X The first draught of the writing ; and has no signature. 



350 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



as }ive under the drop of the Gospel ; for Jesus Christ 
has formed the contract, and has written it, and ye 
know that a contract serves for nothing except it be 
subscribed by both parties. Our dear Jesus, to His 
great charges, subscribed the contract at the expense 
of His precious blood. Now, in the summer of the 
Gospel, He offers it to you this day ; and there is His 
word for it, Isaiah Ixi. 1,2. Will ye consent and obey ? 
The contract says in the general, " He that believes 
has life everlasting ; " and in the word and sacraments 
the Lord comes to the conscience of every man in par- 
ticular and says, "Wilt thou believe? Will ye quit 
yourselves and be Chrisf s wholly?" So there remains 
nothing, beloved, but that ye say, " Amen " to your 
Lord. I pray now, in this summer, give to Christ a 
good answer. So then, 30 see, when the word of the 
Gospel is preached ye are obliged in a special manner 
to come to Christ. 

This doctrine doth, in a special manner, strike 
against secure sluggards, and such as contemn the 
Gospel. A man that sins against the law, has indeed 
God's justice as a contrary advocate to plead against 
him ; yet even in this case he has an advocate with 
God, even God's mercy, and that pleads for him, and 
requests Jesus Christ to take upon Him to be his 
mediator. But if a man close his ears at Christ's 
voice, in the Gospel, and sleep in summer when Christ 
calls upon him, and sin against the Mediator, and 
trample under foot the blood of the new covenant ; 
both mercy and justice doth plead against him. And, 
therefore, he that sins against the law, justice is but 
angry at him; but he that sins against the Gospel, 
justice pursues him in wrath, and the very mercy of 
God is angry, and cries, " No mercy for that man, that 
sins under the sunshine, and summer tide of the 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 



351 



Gospel." And this is righteousness with God. The 
Gospel cries mercy once, twice, thrice ; these be the 
sweet and comfortable " O yeses,''** proclaimed upon 
the cross of Christ, viz. : " Mercy, mercy, mercy, to 
sinners ! " With a loud voice, the Gospel cries this 
at the third hour, and the sixth, and at the eleventh 
hour, at the very striking of twelve, at the very going 
down of the sun, at supper time. But doth Chorazin 
and Bethsaida, England and Scotland, contemn this 
sweet voice? In God's righteousness and judgments, 
they shall never see another summer. When Lammas- 
windf blows and summer is gone, a doleful winter of 
wrath, and all devouring fire of the anger and judg- 
ment of God, shall come. A man that has but one 
eye should keep that well. We have all sinned against 
God's justice ; nothing remains as our eye to see God 
but through the prospect of His mercy. If we lose 
mercy, we are gone. In the first covenant, God takes 
man's word without a cautioner ; in the second cove- 
nant Jesus became a cautioner : if we sin against our 
cautioner, and cast out with our advocate, offering 
Himself to us, we have none to speak for us. A man 
that cannot agree with Christ, he will agree with none ; 
for without Him there is no access to God, for " He is 
the way, the truth, and the life." 

'^ Theflowei's appear on the earthP — It is time now 
that we enter upon some directions upon the particular:}: 
evidences, signs, and marks of summer. The first sign 
is the appearaiice offloivers upon the earth ; by which 
I understand, the holy lives of the saints, which are 
beautiful in the eyes of Jesus, as the flowers in summer 

* A French term ** Oyez," Hear ye ! A form of summons to 
attend at a court. 

t The beginning of August. *' Lammas " is " Loaf-mass day. " 
X In the old copy, "upon the particular, upon the evidences," 



352 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



are beautiful in the fields and gardens. '^ Israel shall 
blossom and bud as a rose, and fill the face of the 
world" (Isaiah xxvii. 6). ^^And they of the city 
shall flourish like grass of the earth" (Psalm Ixxii. 16). 
*' He shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as 
Lebanon" (Hosea xiv. 5). The Church is God's gar- 
den, and plot of ground, and He Himself sets flowers 
in it, by the ministry of the word. Here there is a 
mark of the true Church of God, that the word is 
accompanied by the effectual working of God's Spirit, 
that sweet-smelled flowers grow in this plot of ground, 
in the garden of the word. ^Vill ye know what makes 
the Lord's flowers fruitful in His vineyard ? There be 
these four things that makes all Christians fruitful in 
it. I. The Father's husbandry; He is a good husband- 
man, if any man be set by Him he must grow. 
2. Christ is a piece of fertile ground : He brings forth 
a hundred bolls for one. If once a flower be planted in 
Christ, he draws life from Christ: **For if we have been 
planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall 
be also in the likeness of His resurrection " (Rom vi. 5). 
All that grows fruitfully to God must be planted in the 
death of Christ ; for when Christ died. He v/as sown 
and planted in the earth, and the third day He came 
above the earth and budded. So our body of sin is 
sown in the body of Christ, and the third day the 
image of God buds up again. So it is our engrafting 
into Christ makes us fruitful, " I am the vine, ye are 
the branches ; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, 
the same bringeth forth much fruit ; for without Me 
ye can do nothing " (John xv. 5). But, beloved, there 
be two things in an engrafting, i. The imps--' to be en- 
grafted must be cut off .their own stock, and imped in 

* The young branch, or ?cion, thru is engrafted, 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 353 



another ; so we must be cut off old Adam, and must 
be engrafted in Christ Jesus. 2. Then, again, the stock 
in which the graft is set must be cutted and branched; 
for we were not planted into living Christ, but into 
crucified Christ ! O ! but our stock, Christ, was fear- 
fully cutted and branched ! He was cloven and hagged 
in body and soul, and we, the Lord's flowers, are imped 
in cutted and bleeding Jesus to draw life out of His 
death. 

3. Abundance of rain makes flowers to grow. We 
are watered, and washed with the purging blood, and 
cleansing water, that came out of the side of Jesus. 

4. Flowers must have sweet, wholesome air that will 
make them grow. The sweet worthiness* of God's 
Spirit rebuking the conscience for sin, and the sweet 
south wind of the same Spirit comforting the soul, blows 
upon God's flowers. What then makes so many stink- 
ing weeds in our land, so that God may say, as He 
said of the people in Micah vii. 4, "The best of them 
is as a brier ; the most upright is sharper than a thorn 
hedge ? '' Pride has blossomed, "violence is risen up 
into a rod of wickedness" (Ezek. vii. 11). "Judg- 
ment springeth up as a hemlock in the furrows of the 
field" (Hosea x. 4). Even here is the cause; men are 
not planted in Christ, but grow wild upon the moun- 
tains of the earth like nettles and thorns. And gain 
is a flower that smells sweet to many sorts of people ; 
the inordinate pleasures of sin, oppression, covetous- 
ness, bloodshed, lust, &:c., so that Christ must run 
out of His garden for the filthy smell of the ^weeds 
that grow in it. 

" The time of the singing of birds is come, and the 
voice of the turtle is heard in our land'' — The turtle is 

* It should be ''working." 
Z 



354 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



a mourning fowl, and is especially so after she has lost 
her mate. This voice is heard in the Church uttered 
by repenting sinners with tears. Alas ! we have all 
lost our marrow by our sins ; we have lost God. And 
this is Christ's music in the Church, singing and mourn- 
ing,* mercy and judgment. Christ is our sweet Night- 
ingale, that, in the time of the Gospel, sings sweetly. 
Wisdom sings without in the streets ; for the evangel 
is Christ's love-song compiled by Himself, and the 
matter of it is how a Prince came from heaven to suitf 
a wife, and He loved her so dearly, that He lay down 
on the hard tree of a cursed cross, and died for His 
love, and thereafter lived again, and married her, a 
beloved dame. Now, when Christ is singing, rejoice 
at the glad tidings of mercy and salvation 3 be won 
with Christ's sweet music. The silly fowl is deceived 
and taken by the deceiving fowler's voice, which draws 
her to the net, where she is taken and slain. O ! that 
we cannot be moved with the pleasant voice of Jesus, 
to be taken as captives, rendering ourselves over to 
Him. Jesus Christ also in the Gospel does mourn 
over us, and speaks of judgment with tears, as He did 
over Jerusalem (Luke xix. 42), " If thou hadst known, 
in this thy day, but now they are hid from thine eyes." 
Beloved friends, that hear the Gospel, must have a soft 
heart to it, and not rejoice when Christ laments, and 
to pipe when Christ pipeth : because where neither 
mercy nor judgment will move a people, the heart is 
like a stone that will not receive the stamp. 

" The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, a7id the vines 
with the tender grapes give a good sinellJ^ — The last mark 
of the summer of the Gospel is, that the fig-tree 



* In the old copy, * laughing" comes in here, without 
meaning. t To woo. 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 355 



abounds unto fruits, which smell well unto God 
through Jesus Christ. This is conveniently casten 
in to us as the mark of the spouse of Christ; she is 
fruitful in good works. Faith cannot want holiness of 
life. *' If any man will love Me, he will keep My com- 
mandments " (John xiv. 15). " Bring forth fruits meet 
for repentance '' (Matthew iii. 8). " Only let your con- 
versation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ" 
(Phil. i. 27). When God's children are once planted 
in Christ, they begin then to bud. When Matthew 
was converted, he followed Christ; he made a feast to 
Christ, there is his bounty ; he invited the publicans 
and sinners to Christ, there is his charity. So Job 
feared God, and eschewed evil. Cornelius prayed, 
and, with his prayers, his alms-deeds ascended up to 
heaven. Dorcas was a disciple full of good works. 
Many are disciples in profession, but they are empty 
vessels, and God has laid upon them the curse of the 
fig-tree. They are reprobate to good works. God, in 
His righteous judgment, has said to them, *^ Never 
man ripe* fruit of thee while the world standeth. 
Thou shalt never have grace to do a good turn in the 
Church of God." Many in our day profess Christ, and 
give up their names to Christ, and put their hand to 
our Lord's charter, and yet are not Christ's. They 
have made shipwreck of the faith, and a 'good con- 
science. Like men that after they have sold their 
lands in such a place, and subscribed the bargain, 
then they have no more but a naked title ; so when 
we are going out of the world, we may take nothing 
with us ; death, as master porter, waits at the entry of 
the grave, and takes all from us. " Blessed are the 

* *' Ripe," search for. Or the word may have been " reap,'* 

gather. 



356 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



dead which die in the Lord, for they rest from their 
labours, and their works follow them/' 

''Arise, my love, my fair one, and come awayJ^ — Our 
Lord doubles the exhortation, arise and come away, 
and it teaches us that — 

1. Our Lord allows not to His children one hour's 
sleep. When He calls us forth to watch, He bids us 
watch continually. He lets us see how ready we are to 
fall asleep. When the Lord turns His back upon us, 
our hearts are like the paces'--' of a clock, that must be 
drawn up every six hours ; we are down upon this 
earth ; except the Lord draw the paces of our hearts. 

2. Our Lord would have present obedience. As 
soon as Christ said to Zaccheus, " Come down," he 
came down hastily, and when our Lord bade Matthew 
follow Him, he stayed not to tell his money, nor mark 
it in his count-books, but came presently (Luke v. 28). 

3. The doubling of this exhortation notes the 
earnestness of Jesus, to have the spouse's company. 
Christ has fair weather and walks in pleasant fields, 
yet He thinks He has no pleasure except He have 
His church in His company. O ! so t serious as God 
is in the conversion of a sinner! He comes out in 
the street, " and crieth upon the high places of the 
city" (Prov. ix. 3); like a man that sees a town on fire, 
urging his hands, and shouting to this sleepy world, 
seeing the wrath that is coming on them, and he has 
both prayers and tears, (Luke xix. 42). "We pray you 
in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 
V. 20). My dear sons, I pray for you to my Lord 
Jesus; He is saying, For My blood, and My wounds* 
sake, come. It is no marvel Christ hath a count J 



The weights. + O ! how earnest God is. 

+ An account to give in. 



COMMUNION SERMONS, 357 



above His head as Mediator, for as Mediator the 
Father has given the church to His keeping, and it is 
one part of the Mediator's caUing to render a reckon- 
ing for His kingdom, and His subjects to His Father; 
that He may say, Father, there is the roll of all the 
names, all are there, I have lost none ; and we shall 
all stand with Jesus at His back. Now, when Jesus 
has this reckoning to make, and God has His bond 
as cautioner of the covenant, it is no wonder that He 
cry oftener nor* once, twice, or thrice upon His church. 
For it goes this way betwixt the Father and the Son; 
the Father disposes and resigns so many to the Son. 
Says the Father, Son, I deliver such a man and such 
a woman, keep them and answer for them; and Jesus 
gives His bond for the receipt of them. Says Christ, 
** I, Jesus, Mediator of the new covenant, grant that 
I have received of My Father, so many children, and 
bind and oblige Myself to restore them all at the 
return of the last judgment." John xvii. 6-12, *^ Thine 
they were, and thou gavest them Me; those that 
Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is 
lost." John vi. 37, 39, ^^All that the Father giveth 
Me shall come to Me ; and him that cometh unto 
Me I will in no wise cast out ; but shall raise it up at 
the last day." Now from this count lying on Christ's 
head proceeds His earnestness in calling His church 
to come, crying, O come in! holding out His arms, 
which is a painful thing. " I have spread out My 
hands all the day to a rebellious people'' (Isa. Ixv. 2). 
In wishing, Deut. v. 29, " O that there were such an 
heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all 
My commandments." John viii. 37, "If any man 
thirst, let him come unto Me and drink." This is a 



* Oftener than onc^. 



358 COMMUNION SERMONS. 



singular comfort to a weak child of God, that has a 
true desire to come to Christ Jesus, and rise and 
forsake the world ; Christ has also an earnest desire 
that we should come, and if we would seek Him, with 
earnest desires, the marriage must holds ye would do 
Christ a pleasure this day if ye would rise, He prays 
you ; My brethren (says He) for My blood's sake, be 
reconciled to Me I 

O ! but our Lord would like to be in when He 
stands, when He knocks at the door saying, '^ My 
fair one P^ This is an ordinary epithet, given by 
Christ through all this song to His church, that she 
is called fair, pleasant, and comely. Once for all in 
this place we shall expound it ; she in herself is black 
like the moon, spotted Kke the leopard, but she is 
fair, because of His inherent fairness, with the wash- 
ing of water by the word (Eph. v. 26, 27). But we 
must dig somewhat further in to seek the cause of 
this beauty. Ezek. xvi. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 
" Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon 
thee, behold, thy time was the time of love, and I 
spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness, 
yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant 
with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest 
Mine; then washed I thee with water, yea, I 
thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and 
I anointed thee with oil ; I clothed thee also with 
embroidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, 
and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered 
thee with silk; I decked thee also with ornaments, 
and I put bracelets upon thine hands, and a chain 
on thy neck : and I put a jewel on thy forehead, and 
earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thy 
head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver, 
and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 



359 



broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, honey, 
and oil, and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou 
didst prosper into a kingdom ; and thy renown went 
forth among the heathen for tliy beauty, for it was 
perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon 
thee, saith the Lord God.'' The Lord's washing is 
the cause of her fairness; or rather it is Christ's 
fairness, that makes us fair. Christ is two ways fair, 
and clean : one way as God equal with the Father, 
and Holy Spirit, and so He is all beauty; another 
way as He is Mediator, and so He borrowed our 
spots, and took upon Him our sins, yea, He went 
into the wine press of the Father's wrath, and there did 
free Himself and us of the blot of our sins. He being 
our head come out clean and beautiful, through His 
perfect comeliness (Ezek. xvi. 14). He puts on us 
this beauty; then, it is our Lord's righteousness 
wherewith we are beautiful, and righteous in the 
sight of God. 

But because this beauty is scorned by the Church 
of Rome, I ^vilI labour to show you how Christ's 
righteousness is ours. I observe tw^o times when we 
are justified before God, and set free from the con- 
demning power of the law as a covenant of works. 

1. When Christ died and rose again for our justi- 
fication. 

2. AVlien we believe in Christ dying and rising 
again, and resting and relying upon Him alone for 
salvation. 

When Christ was summoned, judged, and con- 
demned, we also were summoned, judged, and 
condemned in Him. And as Christ ended the work 
and came out a free man from hell, the grave, Satan, 
and sin, we came out also with Him, for we are one 
with Him; for Christ and we are one. Now, that 



360 COMMUNION SERMONS, 



day that Christ digged the well that made us all clean, 
He purchased to us His beauty, His comeliness, 
and His innocency. That day upon the cross, in 
the garden, and in the grave, Christ did spin that 
long white robe of His righteousness, and innocency, 
to be a garment to us all. He has fair velvets beside 
Him to cover all the elect. Before we were born, 
Christ made new garments for us ; that was the day 
when our righteousness was bought. Christ had all 
the elect's sins bound on His back, and God look- 
ing to us could see no sin, and looking to Christ rising 
from the dead, and having left our sins in the grave 
behind Him, God could see sin neither in Him nor 
in us. He could not challenge Christ, for He had 
died and risen again; He could not challenge the elect, 
for Christ had suffered for them, and risen for them. 
As Adam was our murderer by eating the forbidden 
fruit, before he was our father, and made us guilty 
before we were born ; so Jesus saved us ere we who 
now live were born; and had righteousness ready, 
as one has a garment shapen and made for a child 
that is not yet born. But there is another court, 
which is the judgment and court-hall of conscience, 
wherein conscience does accuse us as guilty sinners, 
and sets up a tribunal in the soul, and reads the book 
of the law, and makes the poor sinner see he is 
under God's curse and God's wrath. Here the child 
of God is feared to look God in the face, for fear God 
see sin in him, and see his filthy raggedness; and 
therefore he runs to the cross of Christ, and there 
puts on a garment of Christ's righteousness. The 
apostle says, Romans iii. 25, that ^^God set forth" 
Christ (as in an open market place) ^^to be a pro- 
pitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His 
righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, 



COMMUNION SERMONS. 361 



through the forbearance of God." Christ is even the 
Lord's wardrobe (to speak so) to all poor sinners that 
come to Christ for a garment or clothes washen in 
our Lord's blood. Wash ye, then, in that blood, and 
God cannot see through that garment which makes a 
sinner so comely and fair that Jesus has reason to call 
her His " love " and His '^ fair one.'' 

Use I. Beloved, who knows how long and how large 
the web of Christ's righteousness is ? AVe will be all 
summoned one day before the Judge that He may see 
us, and if we come not before Him in good apparel, it is 
Death. Now our own garments are ragged and torn, 
let us borrow from Christ, and above all things labour 
for His righteousness. 

Use 2. If we speak of God's dealings with the con- 
sciences of men, many Christians wonder why God 
should deal with them so at the last court of the 
general judgment, to make them see their sins, and 
cause their consciences to convict and summon, when 
in the meantime, that day that Christ died, their debt 
was paid, their bill was answered, and the Judge 
appeased, and all paid and scored out. Answer, As 
it is known that some men are never sure of their in- 
heritance until their rights be called in question before 
the judge, and then they get an absolution, and their 
rights made sure : so it is good our consciences should 
summon us before God, for by this means we get a 
decree of absolution or absolviture,* so that at the last 
court of the general judgment, we may say to God, 
Lord, remember such a day that I was by my con- 
science summoned before Thee, but before I went 
home Thy Spirit assured my conscience of the forgive- 
ness of my sins, and Christ by His Spirit did write an 

The term in Scots law for acquittal. 



362 COMMUmON SERMONS. 



absolution in my heart. " Indeed (Christ says) I can- 
not deny My own hand-write;" and when the Spirit is 
called, He cannot but say, '' I will not deny the truth, 
it was so indeed.'' And when the Judge's count-book* 
is looked, all is fair scored out, and paid, that day 
that Christ died. Yet the Christian has need daily to be 
going to the blood of Christ to get his sins washed away. 

" Arise a?id corned — This coming is faith. This ris- 
ing is a setting of the heart up to heaven, where Christ 
is at God's right hand. And these are fitly conjoined 
together. We see faith will not suffer a man to sleep, 
but draws the soul upwards. Abraham was a man like 
us ; yet that made him never to seek a settled dwelling 
in the earth, he looked to a city with an eye of faith, 
for a city that has a foundation. So Moses' faith is 
commended, Heb. xi. 24, 25, 26. He was no earthly- 
minded man, he made small estimation to be the son 
of Pharaoh's daughter, and to play the courtier. The 
word signifies that he looked away from that; faith set 
his face to a contrary point of the compass, where he 
looked to the recompense of the reward. The like we 
see in the thief at Christ's right hand ; he had no mind 
to this life, as the other had, who esteemed it his happi- 
ness to come do^Mi from the cross. So then, I make 
great question if a worldly-minded man has faith, for 
the love of the world is a lying upon the dust of the 
earth, but faith is a rising and coming to Christ. See 
Heb. X. 34, 35, *^For ye had compassion of me in my 
bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, 
knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better 
and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your 
confidence, which hath great recompence of reward." 

To God be praise, both now and for ever more ! 

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